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Home Musicians Conductors Christian Badea
Christian Badea
christian_badeaChristian Badea

Principal Conductor of George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra-Season 2012-2013

Conductor Christian Badea has received exceptional acclaim throughout his career, encompassing prestigious engagements in the foremost concert halls and opera houses of Europe, North America, and Asia. As a guest at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for many years, he conducted over 170 performances in a wide variety of repertoire including Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Tosca, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, La fanciulla del west, Cavalleria rusticana, I pagliacci, Aida, Rigoletto and La traviata as well as the Gala Opening of the 1990-91 season with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo.

At the Vienna State Opera he has conducted Otello, Aida, Tosca and La bohème as well as a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann which had a resounding success.

Among the opera houses where Christian Badea has guest conducted are the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Staatsoper in Hamburg, the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, the Royal Opera in Copenhagen and the Royal Opera in Stockholm, the Opera National de Lyon and in North America, the opera companies of Houston, Dallas, Toronto, Montreal, Baltimore and Detroit.

Recent productions include Turandot and Tosca at the Royal Opera House in London, Parsifal, Otello and Così fan tutte in Copenhagen, Falstaff, Roméo et Juliette, Werther and Der Rosenkavalier in Lyon, and Elektra, Don Giovanni, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk and Nabucco in North America. In the spring of 2010, Mr. Badea joined forces with the renowned Director Stefan Herheim to produce masterful performances of Tannhaüser at Den Norske in Oslo. Upcoming performances include La Boheme for the Opera Australia and Don Carlo for the Goteborg Opera, as well as concerts with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Bucharest Philharmonic.

As Music Director of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy and the United States for 10 years, Christian Badea conducted a wide variety of repertoire including productions of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, La fanciulla del west, Ariadne auf Naxos and Der fliegende Hollander.

In addition to his important artistic contribution to the Spoleto Festival, Christian Badea was a guest of several Italian orchestras: the Orchestra Nazionale Santa Cecilia, Orchestra RAI in Torino, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the orchestras of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro Verdi in Trieste and of the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari. He also conducted opera productions at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Teatro Regio in Torino, Arena di Verona, Teatro Bellini in Catania and at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago.

Maestro Badea operatic repertoire encompasses more than 100 operas with particular emphasis on the works of Mozart, Strauss, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, Mussorgsky, as well as those of 20th century composers such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Janacek, Britten, Berg and Samuel Barber. He has conducted extensively the Italian and French repertoire, collaborating with the most important singers of the last two decades.

Equally dividing his time between symphony and opera conducting, Christian Badea has appeared as a frequent guest of symphony orchestras on three continents.

In Europe he conducted the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony in London, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra, the Amsterdam Philharmonic and the Radio Philharmonic in Holland, the Beethovenhalle Orchestra in Bonn, the Orchestre Philharmonique de la Radio and the Orchestre de l’Ile de France in Paris, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the RAI Orchestra in Torino, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Maggio Musicale Orchestra in Florence, the Budapest Philharmonic and the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid. In Asia he conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic and he toured Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic.

In North America, Christian Badea was a guest of such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Christian Badea’s extensive symphonic repertoire ranges from the works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to the composers of the 21st century. He has conducted complete cycles of symphonies of Bruckner and Mahler and most of the Classical and Romantic repertoire. His programs have frequently included many of the works of such 20th century composers as Zemlinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Honegger, Janacek, Bartok, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Walton, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Lutoslawski, Messiaen, Ligeti, Henze, Berio and Penderecki. His particular interest in French culture has been present in concert programs and recordings dedicated to French music.

Christian Badea’s strong commitment to American contemporary music has brought him in collaboration with many of the American composers of the last thirty years. Among them are Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Peter Mennin, William Schuman, George Crumb, Donald Erb, Frank Zappa, Mark Phillips, Steven Stucky, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse and John Adams. His discography includes the Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 with the Royal Philharmonic on the Telarc label, award-winning recordings of symphonies of American composers Roger Sessions and Peter Mennin, as well as a live recording of Samuel Barber’s opera Antony and Cleopatra, which won a Grammy Award. Christian Badea has appeared frequently in the United States on nationally telecast performances on PBS and was also featured in televised concerts and opera performances in Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and Japan. He was a guest of festivals such as the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Festival Estival de Paris.

Among the major artists with whom Christian Badea has collaborated are Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, YoYo Ma, Yefim Bronfman, Alicia deLarocha, Shlomo Mintz, Midori, Cho Liang Lin, Mitsuko Uchida, Gerhard Oppitz, Lynn Harrell, singers Placido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Rolando Vilazon, Natalie Dessay, Bryn Terfel, Samuel Ramey, Thomas Hampson, Rolando Vilazon, Deborah Voigt, Dawn Upshaw, James Morris, Dimitri Hvorovstovski, Neil Shicoff and stage directors Bruce Beresford, David Pountney, Franco Zeffirelli, Andrei Serban and Keith Warner.

Maestro Badea received his initial training in violin at the Bucharest Conservatory and studied conducting in Brussels, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan and at the Juilliard School in New York where one of his important mentors was Leonard Bernstein.

Among Christian Badea’s recent concert programs are Bruckner Symphony No. 6, as well as Das Lied von der Erde with the Seville Royal Orchestra, a Strauss/Mahler/Shostakovich program with the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid and Mahler Symphonies No. 5 and 9 with the National Orchestra of Romania in Bucharest.

Opera productions have included Tosca at Covent Garden, Macbeth in Copenhagen, Salome and Les Contes d’Hoffmann in North America and Otello, Tosca and Capriccio at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He returned to Stockholm for Carmen, Tosca and new productions of Il trovatore and The Rake’s Progress and conducted a new production of Turandot for the Gothenburg Opera.

In 2008 he returned to Covent Garden for La bohème. Opera productions and concerts in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Romania are scheduled through 2010.

“Christian Badea’s conducting combines restrained passion with an exceptional feel for the subtleties of Puccini’s orchestration. The best of it is extremely moving.” – The Guardian