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Clemens Heil

Conductor
Music Director, Luzerner Theater

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.

News

Clemens Heil will be joining the ICA roster for General Management

Clemens Heil will be joining the ICA roster for General Management

ICA is delighted to announce that German conductor Clemens Heil will be joining our roster for General Management Music Director of the Luzerner Theater, Clemens Heil has built a reputation as a mindful and sensitive interpreter and has a particular interest in bringing contemporary and 20th century repertoire centre stage Having collaborated with composers such ...

Biography

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.

Reviews

[…] The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra makes for a grand musical impact, prepared with utmost precision by Clemens Heil. And the singers, who enjoy all the complexity of Ligeti’s music with ease. This premiere is a season-opening statement of metropolis calibre.
- Concerti
 (Peter Krause)
 (Review on 'Le Grand Macabre')
, 2017
Above all, the music – the precise Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under Clemens Heil – sharpens the Grand-Guignol-Play with glaring colours and gestures.
- Luzerner Zeitung
 (Urs Mattenberger)
 (Review on 'Le Grand Macabre')
, 2017
[Director] Herbert Fritsch…turns “Le Grand Macabre” into a loud and colourful clownery, decidedly supported by Clemens Heil, the Music Director of the Lucerne Theatre. The giant percussion set, which masters the car horn and doorbell preludes magnificently, and the keyboard-instruments are spread all over the stage, the trumpets of Jericho are thundering from the balcony, and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra is going all out with muscular brilliance.
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung
 (Peter Hagmann)
, 2017
Strong contrasts and frequent changes in temperature are predominating, it requires daunting abilities of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the musicians excel themselves under the brilliant baton of Clemens Heil. […] Nono’s difficult avantgarde-keywork as part of the repertoire at an opera house of this size at such high level – a real coup!
- Deutschlandfunk
 (Luigi Nono: Prometeo)
, 2016
Musically, this is a performance is at stunning high level. The fact, that most parts are cast from the house’s own ensemble show, that even such a complex work as “Prometeo” can nowadays be mastered by highly motivated forces of a medium sized theatre. The chorus and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Clemens Heil are delivering an exceptional performance.
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
 (Luigi Nono: Prometeo)
, 2016
That is the new Music Director at the helm of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, who created an outstanding, shattering sound experience and also managed to existentially convey the tiniest changes, the micro-intervals, the extraordinary dynamic differences from a tenfold pianissimo to a catastrophic explosion and the movements in space.
- Neue Musik Zeitung
, 2016