Music Director of the Luzerner Theater since 2016, German conductor Clemens Heil has built a reputation as a mindful and sensitive interpreter both in opera and on the concert platform. With a particular interest in bringing contemporary and 20th century repertoire centre stage, he has worked with composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Peter Eotvos, Sofia Gubaidulina and HK Gruber.
Clemens Heil has started his tenure in Lucerne with an acclaimed production of Luigi Nono’s pivotal work Prometeo (in collaboration with the Lucerne Festival and the SWR Experimentalstudio), in autumn 2016. He opens the 2017/18 season with Ligeti’s Le grand Macabre in a staging by Herbert Fritsch, another collaboration with the Lucerne Festival. Further productions this season include Falstaff, and Robert Schumann’s Faust Szenen. Other recent operas in Lucerne have included Die Zauberflöte, L’Italiana in Algeri, and Benedikt von Peter’s acclaimed and provocative staging of Verdi’s La Traviata.
As a guest conductor, Clemens Heil returns to the Bremer Theater for the world premiere of Wahlverwandtschaften, a music theatre work by Thomas Kürstner, Sebastian Vogel and Armin Petras after Goethe’s famous novel. He also conducts a revival of Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus in Bremen.
First Kapellmeister in Bremen from 2012 to 2016, he conducted new productions of The Makropoulos Case, Così fan tutte, La Traviata, Juliette by Martinů and Le nozze di Figaro. He also conducted the Bremer Philharmoniker in symphonic programmes, including most recently a programme of Dvorak’s Symphonie No 9 and Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto No 1 in E minor.
A long term collaboration with the Ensemble Modern has seen Clemens Heil conduct projects such as the Dreigroschenoper at the Schauspiel Frankfurt, and numerous concerts at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Transart Festival in Brixen, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ Amsterdam, Warsaw Autumn festival, Eclat Festival Stuttgart, and the Festival Ultima Oslo, and he has made CD and DVD productions with the ensemble. He has also regularly led the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) and in this context has conducted projects at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Klangwerktage Hamburg, and the Festival Quantensprünge at the ZKM Karlsruhe.
As a symphonic conductor, Clemens Heil has worked with the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Bremer Philharmoniker, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Staatsorchester Mainz, Staatsorchester Hannover, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen and the Brandenburger Philharmoniker.
Born in Wiesbaden, Clemens Heil’s musical education began as a member of the Rottenburger Domsingknaben. He then studied piano and conducting in Stuttgart and Freiburg and was engaged as a repetiteur at Stuttgart Opera whilst still studying. A next position took him to the Staatsoper Hannover as Chorus Director, where his work with the chorus on Nono’s Al gran sole won a “Chorus of the Year” award of the German opera magazine Opernwelt. Subsequently, he moved to the Staatstheater Mainz as Kapellmeister, where he conducted several premieres including Scarlatti’s Giuditta, Sciarrino’s Macbeth and Britten’s The rape of Lucretia.