„Christian Zacharias conducted without a baton, but his gestures – painting with arms, hands and fingers – were so inspiring, structuring the wonderful music that was created.“
Christian Zacharias is a narrator among the conductors and pianists of his generation. In each of his elaborate, detailed and clearly articulated interpretations, it’s clear what he means: Zacharias is interested in what lies behind the notes.
With a unique combination of integrity and individuality, brilliant linguistic expressiveness, deep musical understanding, and a sure artistic instinct, paired with his charismatic and engaging artistic personality, Christian Zacharias has established himself not only as a world-class pianist and conductor, but also as a musical thinker. Numerous acclaimed concerts with the world’s best orchestras and outstanding conductors as well as multiple honors and recordings characterize his international career.
Since 2020, Christian Zacharias holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Sinfonica Do Porto Casa da Musica, and since 2021/2002 of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. Also, since 2021/2022 he is Associate Conductor of the Orchestre National d’Auvergne. In 2020, Zacharias was also appointed Honorary Conductor of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest. In general, the Classical-Romantic repertoire, especially Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, forms an important musical focus for him. He was re-invited to, among others, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, the Orchestre National du Toulouse, the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra as well as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. Christian Zacharias likes to complement his programs with more modern works, e.g. by Schönberg, Britten or Bacewicz. Zacharias‘ longtime musical partners include the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Konzerthausorchester and the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the Orchestre Nationale de Lyon.
Before devoting himself to other focal points of his career, Christian Zacharias will be playing more piano recitals in the 2022/23 season in the major cities of Europe, including Paris, London, Madrid, Istanbul and at the Schubertiade and Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse.
In addition to recitals, Zacharias offers his audience impressive musical insights in piano lectures on topics such as Why does Schubert sound like Schubert or Haydn, A Creation from Nothing?
A particular fondness of opera has led to him directing productions of Mozart’s La Clemenza the Tito and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène. The production of Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, which he conducted at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, was awarded the Prix de l’Europe Francophone 2014 by the Association Professionnelle de la Critique Théâtre, Musique et Danse in Paris.
Since 1990, the following films have been produced featuring Christian Zacharias: Domenico Scarlatti in Seville, Robert Schumann – the Poet Speaks (both for INA, Paris), Zwischen Bühne und Künstlerzimmer (for WDR-arte), De B comme Beethoven à Z comme Zacharias (for RTS, Switzerland) and the complete Beethoven piano concertos (for SSR-arte).
The musical work of Zacharias has been honored many times, for example with the Midem Classical Award Artist of the Year 2007, the honorable award Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French state and a tribute from Romania for his services to culture. In addition, he was appointed a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2016, and in 2017 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg.
Numerous internationally acclaimed recordings were made during his time as Principal Conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. Particularly noteworthy are the recordings of the complete Mozart piano concertos – awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Choc du Monde de la Musique and ECHO Klassik – and all Schumann symphonies.
From 2015-2021, Christian Zacharias was chairman of the jury of the Clara Haskil Competition, and in 2018 president of the jury of the Geza Anda Competition where he also conducted the final concert.
2022/2023 season | Photo: Constanze Zacharias | Quote: Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 22 2017.
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