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Jan Latham-Koenig

Conductor
Music Director, Novaya Opera
Chief Conductor, Flanders Symphony Orchestra

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Jan Latham-Koenig returns to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Jan Latham-Koenig returns to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

After their hugely successful collaboration last season, the renowned British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig returns to the RPO for a concert at Dorking Halls on Friday 12 May 2017 at 730pm This concert will feature a selection of some of the all-time classical favourites, including Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Beethoven’s splendid ...

Jan Latham Koenig will be conducting at the Jacobs School of Music

Jan Latham Koenig will be conducting at the Jacobs School of Music

Jan Latham Koenig will be guest conducting the Concert Orchestra of the highly regarded Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, on 8 March He will be joined by Ian Petruzzi on horn, the co-winner of the Jacobs School of Music Brass Concerto Competition Together they will perform a variety of works from Wagner, Strauss ...

Biography

Jan Latham-Koenig is Music Director of the Novaya Opera in Moscow and Chief Conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in Bruges, Belgium.

The first British born conductor to have ever held a Music Directorship at any Russian opera company, at Novaya Opera, he has recently conducted an acclaimed production of Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor and was the driving force behind the company’s first UK appearance when he took this production to London’s Coliseum in 2014. This season, he takes Prince Igor to Shanghai, conducts La Boheme on tour in Dublin and a new production of Faust in Moscow. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Russian Golden Mask Award for Best Conductor for Tristan und Isolde. In June 2016, Latham-Koenig conducted Krzysztof Penderecki’s St Luke’s Passion in Moscow with the Ensemble of Novaya Opera. This season includes the Moscow premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger on Holocaust day in January 2017, as well as the world premiere of Konstantin Boyarsky’s opera Pushkin in February.

Recent opera engagements include the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Savonlinna Festival, Göteborg Opera, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Finnish National Opera and Polish National Opera. He has just conducted Rossini’s Tancredi at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile and will return to the State Opera in Prague in 2017 for Le Rossignol and Iolanta. Other future plans include a new production of Les Dialogues des Carmelites for the Teatro Regio in Torino in April 2019, as well as Peter Grimes in Monte Carlo.

Appointed Chief Conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in 2013, he took the orchestra on a UK tour in 2015, including two concerts in London, where they presented two unique programmes remembering the invasion of Belgium in the First World War, including newly commissioned works by Richard Blackford and Piet Swerts. Next summer, he will appear with the orchestra at the Harrogate Festival and will also take the orchestra to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam for a concert in August 2017.

Previous Music Director positions included the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico City, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Orchestra of Porto, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Opéra National du Rhin. He was founder and Artistic Director of the Young Janacek Philharmonic, has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Torino and Permanent Guest Conductor at the Wiener Staatsoper. A close collaborator of Hans Werner Henze, he premiered many of the composer’s works and was Artistic Director of the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano from 2004 to 2007.

As a guest conductor, some recent appearances include the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, New Japan Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and in China the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Hangzhou and Qingdao Philharmonic. He has conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Upcoming performances include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as concerts in Vilnius with the Lithuanian National Orchestra, Novosibirsk Philharmonic, and concerts and master classes in Bloomington.

Latham-Koenig has assembled an extensive and varied discography of over 40 CDs. A renowned interpreter of Poulenc’s music, his first album with the Filarmonica del Teatro Regio in a programme of Poulenc was voted Record of the Month by BBC Music Magazine. His DVD recording of Les Dialogues des Carmelites with the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg won the Diapason d’Or for best opera video in 2001.

Coming from French, Danish, Polish as well as Mauritian origin, Jan Latham-Koenig was born in England and studied at the Royal College of Music, London, before winning the coveted Gulbenkian Fellowship and founding his own group, the Koenig Ensemble, in 1976.

Reviews

Under Jan Latham-Koenig, the Moscow company’s chief conductor, the orchestra played with terrific richness of tone and focus, and the chorus was fabulous. Musically, at least, this was a revelation.
- The Spectator
, 2016
With a huge crescendo on the first three chords, Latham-Koenig drew the audience into the grand sound world of this symphony through which he led his musicians with energetic gestures.(…) For the last movement, Latham-Koenig chose a rapid tempo, and the musicians were visibly enthused, playing with distinctly more vigour, resulting in long and warm applause.
- Bachtrack
, 2016
The first movement was weighty, dramatic and well-articulated, with colourful interjections from the woodwind. The second movement, the Marche Funebre, was suitably imposing yet imbued with an underlying sense of tragedy. A joyful yet restless Scherzo followed with fine contributions from the woodwind and horn section, and in the finale the orchestra displayed a fine sense of the epic scale of this movement with a richly-textured sound and continuous energy.
- Bachtrack
, 2016
Most touring orchestras play it safe, persuaded perhaps by their promoters to bring little beyond a diet of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. But not the brave Flanders Symphony Orchestra under its chief conductor Jan Latham-Koenig, who arrived in London at the end of a short UK tour with two fascinating programmes…. Latham-Koenig shap[ed] an atmospheric performance of another rarity, Ibert's symphonic poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. With [Simon] Callow reciting the Oscar Wilde passages that preface each movement in the score, the pitiless drama was starkly effective. The orchestral colouring of the central scherzo echoes that of Dukas's famous Sorcerer's Apprentice, and following an evocation of dawn on the morning of execution, the moment of hanging is captured in the high disembodied notes of a solo double bass.
- The Telegraph
, 2015
Jan Latham-Koenig, the Kolobov Novaya’s Musical Director, conducts with a light touch, letting rip in the fabulous Polovtsian Dances but otherwise emphasising elegance rather than muscle and drawing sweet and scented playing from the excellent orchestra.
- The Telegraph
, 2014
Jan Latham-Koenig conquered the jury with a powerful reading [of the score].
- Vedomosti
 (Pyotr Pospelov)
Latham-Koenig never lets her down in his alert reading of the score. By turns excitingly taut and lyrical, he delivers Verdian sweep and draws strong playing from the orchestra.
- The Telegraph
The orchestra’s new music director, Jan Latham-Koenig, takes over for the Four Sea Interludes. I detect a greater expressive charge here, the music’s powerfully minatory undertow making its presence felt in (especially) ‘Dawn’ and ‘Storm’ (which Latham-Koenig drives hard to notably exciting effect).
- Gramophone
Jan Latham-Koenig and Joan Rodgers deliver a skilful and soulful performance of Don Juan and Metamorphosen.
- Classic FM

Discography

Britten: Violin Concerto
Released November 2013 on Orchid Classics

Matthew Trusler, violin
Flanders Symphony Orchestra

Richard Strauss: Don Juan / Metamorphosen / Songs for Soprano and Piano
Released May 2011 on Avie

Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra