Currently Principal Conductor of Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Christoph Poppen has been appointed Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2015/2016 season. Also Artistic Director of the Marvão International Music Festival in Portugal which he founded in 2014, Poppen has invited the orchestra to perform at the Festival in July 2016.
From the start of his conducting career, Poppen has established a reputation for his innovative programming and commitment to contemporary music. From 1995 to 2006, he was Artistic Director of Munich Chamber Orchestra, establishing the ensemble’s new profile in a short period of time. His distinctive programmes, often contrasting classical and contemporary styles with numerous commissioned works, were highly successful. In 2006, Poppen was appointed Music Director of Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken and was in charge of overseeing and artistically guiding the merger of his orchestra with Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern. From 2007 until 2011, he was Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radio Philharmonie.
Poppen is a frequent guest conductor around the world and has appeared with orchestras such as Vienna Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Detroit Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Indianapolis Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He also has a strong presence in Italy, performing regularly with the country’s leading orchestras and at festivals such as the Venice Biennale, as well as giving masterclasses.
During the current season, Poppen continues a close collaboration with Cologne Chamber Orchestra and will work with Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France as well as Israel Chamber Orchestra. He also returned to Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa in early 2016 for a new production of Don Giovanni.
Also in demand as an opera conductor, Poppen recently conducted a new production of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at Staatsoper Stuttgart and led the new production of The Abduction from the Seraglio at Aalto-Musiktheater Essen. In 2009, he conducted The Pearl Fishers at Oper Frankfurt which led to an immediate re-invitation for The Magic Flute. He has also worked closely with Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, in projects including The Magic Flute, La Clemenza di Tito, Falstaff, Arabella and Otello. He was the Musical Director for Sing for Me, Death, a new production commissioned by the RuhrTriennale 2009 with music by Claude Vivier.
As a prize-winning violinist, Poppen co-founded the Cherubini Quartett in 1978. He was appointed professor of violin and chamber music at Hochschule für Musik Detmold, and later at Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he was President from 1996 through 2000. From 2001 through 2005, he was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, he is professor of violin and chamber music at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.