Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, entering his third season in 2015/16. Beginning in 2016/17 he also takes up post as Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy. He continues his partnerships with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as its Artist-in-Association, and with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra as Artist-in-Residence. Equally accomplished as conductor and composer, Pintscher sees his two main spheres of activity as entirely complementary; he has created significant works for the world’s leading orchestras, and his intrinsic understanding of the score from the composer’s perspective informs his ability to communicate on the podium.
In the 2015/16 season, Pintscher makes conducting debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Prague Philharmonia. He embarks on a U.S. tour with the Ensemble Intercontemporain with concerts in Berkeley, Chapel Hill, and Washington, D.C. Further highlights of this season include the premiere of his new cello concerto with the Danish National Symphony and Alisa Weilerstein, and return guest conducting engagements with the Naples Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Helsinki Philharmonic. Last season, Pintscher gave debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, DC), and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.
Pintscher began his musical training in conducting, studying with Peter Eötvös, but composing took a more prominent role in his life while he was in his early twenties. Soon after, he divided his time equally between the two disciplines of conducting and composing. Naturally noted for his interpretations of contemporary music, he developed an affinity for repertoire of the late 19th and the 20th centuries – Bruckner, the French romantic masters, Beethoven, Berlioz, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky and for the Second Viennese School – along with a rich variety of contemporary scores.
“My thinking as a conductor is informed by the process of my own writing,” notes Pintscher, “and vice versa of course.” He may justly be called the most sought-after German composer of his generation, and his music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, orchestras and conductors. His works are frequently performed by orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia London, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris.
A prolific composer, Matthias Pintscher's most recent orchestral composition idyll was given its world premiere in October 2014 by the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction ofFranz Welser-Möst, followed by performances by the Bayerische Rundfunk and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In summer 2015, his works Now I for solo piano and Now II for solo cello were respectively premiered at the Lucerne Festival and the Moritzburg Festival, and gemini calls - a fanfare for two trumpets - was commissioned by and premiered at the Grafenegg Festival. Pintscher was the 2012 recipient of the Roche Commission. His work, Chute d’Étoiles: Hommage à Anselm Kiefer for two trumpets and orchestra, premiered at the Luzern Festival in August 2012 by the Cleveland Orchestra, and was subsequently performed at Severance Hall in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Pintscher’s compositions are noted for the delicate sound world they inhabit, the intricacy of their construction and their precision of expression. Among his most celebrated achievements are his first opera, Thomas Chatterton, commissioned by Dresden Semperoper; Fünf Orchesterstücke for the Philharmonia Orchestra and Kent Nagano; Herodiade Fragmente for Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic; his first violin concerto en sourdine for Frank Peter Zimmermann and the Berlin Philharmonic; his second opera l’espace dernier which premiered at Paris National Opera (Bastille) in 2004; and his cello concerto for Truls Mørk, Reflections on Narcissus, which was premiered in Paris in 2006 with Christophe Eschenbach and the Orchestre de Paris. That year also included the premiere of a piece for Emmanuel Pahud (flute) and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performed at the Lucerne Festival, where Pintscher was Composer-in-Residence in 2006. Osiris, a large-scale composition, was co-commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall, and received its premiere conducted by Pierre Boulez in 2008. In spring 2010, his work towards Osiris received its U.S. premiere with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Eschenbach. Also that spring, the New York Philharmonic debuted a piece co-commissioned with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, songs from Solomon’s garden for baritone and chamber orchestra. In April 2013 the Vienna Philharmonic performed Hérodiade-Fragmente at the Musikverein. His first solo piano composition, debuted at London's Wigmore Hall by Inon Barnatan in September 2013. Earlier in the same year, Uriel for cello and piano, was premiered by Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan at the Frankfurt Alte Oper. Pintscher has also written a violin concerto, mar’eh, premiered in autumn 2011 by Julia Fischer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. And his three-part work, Sonic Eclipse: Celestial Object 1, 2 and 3, has been performed by ensembles around the world.
Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble contrechamps, Avanti (Helsinki), remix (Porto) and the Scharoun Ensemble. Since 2011, he has curated the music segment of the Impuls Romantik Festival in Frankfurt. He has also served as the artistic director of the Heidleberg Atelier of the Heidelberg Spring Festival since 2007, which has now transformed into the Heidelberg Young Composer’s Academy. As of September 2014, Pintscher joined the composition faculty at the Juilliard School.
Pintscher conducts throughout Europe, U.S. and Australia. Past conducting engagements have included the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Paris Opera Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de France, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Torino), Mariinsky Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, and Sydney Symphony, among others.
Matthias Pintscher makes his home in New York and Paris. His works are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag. Recordings can be found on Kairos, EMI, ECM, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter.