Charismatic Malaysian-born conductor Harish Shankar enjoys an ever-increasing global presence on the podium. Mr Shankar currently holds the position of 1.Kapellmeister at the Theater & Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern. He previously held the positions as Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Harvestehude Sinfonieorchester Hamburg as well as a recent Junior Fellowship of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he received mentorship from Sir Mark Elder. Hailed for his finely-honed skill and passionate conducting, Mr Shankar was a prize winner of the most recent International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition in Finland.
Highlights of his 2017/18 season include his debuts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the UK, as well as a series of symphony concerts with the Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern in both Stralsund and Greifswald.
Also in the various associated theatres of north German Vorpommern, his scenic highlights for the 2017/18 season include a new production of Die Zauberflöte, Noel Gay’s Me and My Girl and a ballet production Casanova based on music by Mozart and John Adams. Mr Shankar recently conducted La Boheme at the Bremerhaven Stadttheater and has worked as both répétiteur and assistant conductor at Kammeroper Hamburg and Oper Kiel.
Recent highlights include his critically acclaimed debut with The Hallé at Bridgewater Hall, conducting the closing concert of the 2017 Cantiere International Arts Festival in Montepulciano and performances in Kuala Lumpur with both the Malaysian Philharmonic and Malaysian Youth Philharmonic orchestras. Previous appearances also include Manchester Camerata, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Jena Philharmonie, Vaasa City Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Braunschweig, Orquesta Sinfónica de Trujillo, North Czech Philharmonic, Leipzig Symphony Orchestra and Jyväskylä Sinfonia.
As assistant conductor he has worked closely with a number of renowned conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Vasily Petrenko, Eckehard Stier and Juanjo Mena and collaborated with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Auckland Philharmonia orchestras. After graduating in conducting from the prestigious Weimar Conservatoire in Germany (under the tutelage of Professor Gunter Kahlert), Harish Shankar also received mentorship from Paavo Järvi, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron with masterclasses from Nicolás Pasquet, Leonid Grin and Mark Stringer.
As a strong believer in music eduction, his early studies with Maestro Eiji Oue subsequently led to an invitation to lead the orchestra of the award-winning El Sistema project in Peru. During his tenure with El Sistema, he conducted a number of regular and cross-over projects with the aim to engage a growing classical music scene and to bring together children from all walks of life through music.
Based in Leipzig and Stralsund, Mr Shankar speaks German, English, Spanish, Malay and Tamil.