Thomas Hengelbrock was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany in 1958. He began his career as a professional violinist, working as an assistant to composers including Lutosławski, Kagel and Doráti. In 1985, he co-founded the Freiburger Barockorchester. He also founded the Balthasar Neumann Choir in 1991 and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble in 1995. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. He was Music Director of the Volksoper Wien from 2000 to 2003, and Principal Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (formerly the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg) from 2011 to the summer of 2018. He is currently chef associé of the Orchestre de Paris. In addition to conducting concerts, he is active in the operatic field, and is devoted to introducing lesser known works to the public.
His technique of creating music vividly by incorporating various ideas when conducting modern orchestras, rather than adhering to historically informed performances (HIP) in principle, has been evaluated highly. This is his first collaboration with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
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