Equally at home in the symphonic and opera repertoire the young German conductor Michael Balke is quickly gaining international attention for his performances. He regularly follows invitations to many European countries as well as Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA. Recently Michael Balke is appointed principal guest conductor at Theater St. Gallen.
Balke was recently named Principal Guest Conductor at the St. Gallen Theatre and Symphony Orchestra starting his tenure with the 2018/19 season. He will conduct the productions of NORMA and IL TROVATORE there and will also make his debut with the Munich Symphony Orchestra in two concerts. Another highlight will be his debut at the prestigious Concertgebouw in Amsterdam conducting the Residentie Orkest in a Gala concert with Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres. He will also record a CD with Latvian Soprano Marina Rebeka including French arias by Gounoud, Massenet and Bizet. Balke will return to Verona to conduct a symphonic concert (Tchaikovsky & Strauss) with the Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, besides that he will return to Japan for a symphonic concert tour.
Recent highlights include a very successful new productions of Schrecker’s DIE GEZEICHNETEN in St. Gallen, his debuts in Russia with a Gala Concert with Marina Rebeka at the Tchaikovsky Hall as well as his debut with the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra in a concert with violionist Midori. He conducted the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and Haydn Orchestra Bozen for the first time and gave a ravishing debut at Opera Verona conducting Richard Strauss SALOME. The press called his conducting the “best performance of a conductor during the last two years”. This summer he conducts DON CARLO at the Opera på Skäret Festival. More highlights include GIANNI SCHICCI and L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE at Opéra national de Lorraine à Nancy, a new production of TOSCA at Theater St. Gallen, MERRY WIDOW and MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Metropolitan Theatre in Tokyo and DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER in Sweden. He conducted Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo as well as gala concerts with Marina Rebeka and the Croatian National Radio Orchestra, with Lawrence Brownlee in Tivoli Copenhagen, with Ludovic Tézier at Opéra national de Montpellier and with Ian Bostridge and the Orchestra Siciliana Palermo. At Tongyeong Music Festival he conducted the piano concert of Ravel with Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
From 2011 to 2016 Michael Balke was Principle Conductor at Magdeburg Opera where he has conducted a broad repertoire of new productions from Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti to Verdi, Strawinsky, Korngold and Richard Strauss, as well as numerous symphony concerts.
He regularly works with orchestras like Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), Osaka Philharmonic, Orchestre national Montpellier, Orchestre de Nancy, Orchestra Siciliana Palermo, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Phil, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orkest and Budapest Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Balke was born in Braunschweig, Germany and studied conducting under Christopher Zimmerman and piano under James Tocco and Frank Weinstock at the Cincinnati Conservatory (USA). Chamber music studies with the Tokyo String Quartet, LaSalle Quartet and Menahem Pressler. He now lives in Munich.