About the School
Who We Are
Encounter of Santander
From the start of his conducting career, Christoph Poppen established an international reputation for innovative and original programming and commitment to contemporary music.
A frequent guest conductor, he has appeared with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Detroit and Indianapolis symphony orchestras, Wiener Symphoniker, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and at the Biennale in Venice.
In the 2019/20 season, Christoph Poppen will continue his highly successful collaborations with the Kölner Kammerorchester in his role as Principal Conductor and as Principal Guest Conductor of Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Other highlights include engagements with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and the Welsh National Opera amongst others. Working relationships connect him to important orchestras such as Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Netherlands Philharmonic and Israel Chamber orchestras, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Athens State Orchestra and others.
As an opera conductor, he very successfully led a production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Aalto Theatre in Essen and performances of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 2016 he returned to the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa for a production of Don Giovanni. He conducted performances of Les pêcheurs de perles at Oper Frankfurt – which led to an immediate re-invitation for Die Zauberflöte – and created the new production of Sing For Me, Death by composer Claude Vivier with the RuhrTriennale company in Gelsenkirchen. In 2017 he conducted Weber’s Oberon in concert version at Opera Köln.
Over the years, Christoph Poppen has held a number of significant Directorships in Germany. From 1995 to 2006, he was Artistic Director of the Münchener Kammerorchester, establishing the ensemble’s new profile in a short period of time. His distinctive programmes, based on a contrast of classical and contemporary music with numerous commissioned works, met with huge success. In August 2006, he was appointed Music Director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken, and from 2007 until 2011 he was the Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern.
Under his artistic leadership the Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão (Portugal) has grown to become a highly successful and award-winning musical happening featuring soloists such as Jörg Widmann, Augustin Hadelich, Javier Perianes and Clara-Jumi Kang.
Christoph Poppen was appointed professor of violin and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, and later at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was President from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 through to 2005, Christoph Poppen was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, Christoph Poppen has held a post as professor for violin and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2019, he founded the International Academy for Music, Arts and Science in Marvão/Portugal.
Since the 2021-2022 he is professor at the Reina Sofía School of Music’s Telefónica Violin Chair.