Biographie Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Jonathan Darlington

Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Jonathan Darlington Jonathan Darlington is music director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Vancouver Opera. His demand for the highest level of professionalism and precision, infused with genuine enthusiasm, has ever increased the quality and popularity of both orchestras.

With the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, whose profile he has significantly moulded over the past years, he conducts eight subscription weeks each season in a broad range of symphonic repertoire, as well as concert tours, festival guest engagements and live recordings. With the Vancouver Opera, he conducts two new productions each season, together with gala concerts and “Opera in Concert” events.

His most recent operatic successes include the world première of Manfred Trojahn’s “La Grande Magia” with the Staatkapelle Dresden, Gustave Charpentier’s “Louise” with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Strauss’ “Salome” with Vancouver Opera, “Beethoven’s “Fidelio” with the Opera Australia in Sydney, as well as the Robert Lepage directed Stravinsky’s “The Nightingale and Other Short Fables” at the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto. In March 2009 he also returned to the stage as accompanist for Schubert’s ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ with the renowned baritone Dietrich Henschel. His most recent live recordings include Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, “Pelleas and Mélissande” by Schönberg and Fauré as well as the “Symphonic Ring” arrangement of Richard Wagner’s “Ring des Nibelungen”.

Sensitivity for depth and balance and an infectious dynamism are the hallmarks of Jonathan Darlington’s work. His vast symphonic and operatic repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary, including lesser known works outside the European mainstream. He has a reputation for structuring programmes that take the listener on a fascinating musical journey, owing to their strong inner dramaturgy. He is especially committed to exploring connections between less easily accessible contemporary works and well known classical ones, surprising his audience with unexpected connections and resemblances. Fluent in several languages and at home in three countries, he thrives on the music making that comes as a result of the contact with different cultures and traditions.

Renowned for his broad repertoire, he gives regular guest appearances with major orchestras and opera houses the world over. Among the numerous orchestras where he is a regular guest are, to name a few, the Orchestre National de France, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica del San Carlo di Napoli, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the National Orchestra of Taiwan, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, the English National Opera and Sydney Opera. He is a regular guest of many major European festivals, such as Amsterdam, Montreux and the Piano Festival Ruhr (Germany), as well as the German cutting edge arts festival RuhrTriennale.

Jonathan Darlington began his career as freelance pianist, accompanist and repetiteur. Born in Lapworth near Birmingham, UK, he studied music at Durham University and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London, winning several prizes especially for his Lieder accompaniment. After graduation, he moved to Paris, where, with Radio France, he had the chance to work with some of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time; Pierre Boulez (Le soleil des eaux), Riccardo Muti (Verdi Requiem) and Olivier Messiaen (Trois petites liturgies). As a freelance recitalist and accompanist, he travelled France and the UK, working for the Nancy Opera and the French experimental touring company ARCAL, which he soon took over as music director. As member of the music staff of the Aldeburgh School for Advanced Studies, he worked with such renowned singers as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Ileana Cotrubas, Hugues Cuenod, Susanne Danko, Hans Hotter, Janet Baker and Peter Pears.

He made his conducting debut in 1984 at the Parisian Théâtre des Champs Elysées with Francesco Cavalli’s baroque opera “Ormindo”. An important stepping stone in his career was the Berlioz Festival Lyon, where he was assistant to Serge Baudo for “Les Troyens” in 1987, and later to John Nelson for “Benvenuto Cellini” (1989). In 1990 Myung-Whun Chung engaged Mr. Darlington as deputy to the music director at the Opéra de la Bastille, Paris, where he made his acclaimed debut in 1991 with “Le nozze di Figaro”, starring a dream cast including Renée Fleming and Cecilia Bartoli. He remained with the Paris Opera as deputy music director until 1993, conducting successes like “Die Zauberflöte” and “Das Lied von der Erde”. His “Swan Lake” with the Opéra de Paris was recorded for video in 1992.

Jonathan Darlington believes that music is at its best produced live and not in the studio, the audience being an integral part of the performance. His new series of audiophile live recordings with the label Acousence, recorded in the new Mercatorhalle, the Duisburg Philharmonic’s rebuilt and acoustically perfected concert hall, best meets this artistic credo.

He is also a driving force behind the DU Phil’s new media project, designed to reach out to new audiences and to bring classical music to the web 2.0. Darlington regularly writes for, and is featured in interviews and reports on the Duisburg Philharmonic’s new blog, “Dacapo”, and strongly supports the Vancouver Opera’s innovative online portal, “VOlive!”.

Jonathan Darlington holds the distinctions of a BA Honours degree of Durham University, a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, an Honorary LRAM and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London (FRAM).

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