Jonathan Stockhammer © Marco Borggreve

Jonathan Stockhammer

If one wants to do justice to the broad spectrum of Jonathan Stockhammer's musical work and genre-spanning curiosity, one cannot think in terms of pigeonholes. The L.A.-born conductor is a border crosser of music. and is equally passionate about so-called classical and contemporary repertoire. Music in its universality is the driving force behind his work - for him, great music is not bound to a specific genre. He loves opera, classical ballet and modern dance theater just as much as he loves experimental unconventional concert formats that break down rigid structures in favor of new listening experiences. His talent for explaining music and understanding the audience not only as a resonance chamber but as a dialogue partner, makes music understandable and experienceable in a new way. He is a charismatic communicator, who applies his interpretative sensibility to well-known and popular repertoire as well as to overlooked masterpieces of the past. Today's composers value him as an experienced, flexible, and astute partner who brings their new works to life. On stage, he forges close connections between performers and audiences. Both in rehearsals as well as performances, he has a gift for creating a community at eye level and for that very moment.


The list of his opera conductorships, including Zemlinsky's A Florentine Tragedy, Sciarrino's Luci mie traditrici and Monkey:Journey to the West by Damon Albarn, shows him to be a conductor who takes complex scores and and cross-disciplinary productions as a welcome challenge. He has been a regular guest at the Opéra de Lyon since 1998. In 2009, he performed two works by Wolfgang Rihm with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra Proserpina and Deus Passus. In 2013, he made his New York City Opera debut in Thomas Adès' Powder her Face. In 2016, he made his first guest appearance at the Vienna State Opera for a new production of Peter Eötvös' Tri Sestri (Three Sisters) where he returned in the spring of 2020. In 2019, he made his debut with the world premiere of Michael Pelzel's Last Call at Zurich Opera House and was a guest again in the 2021/22 season. Following the new production of Philip Glass' Satyagraha, staged by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, at the Komische Oper Berlin and Theater Basel, he opened the Basel season 2019/2020 with Luigi Nono's Al gran sole carico d'amore. In the 2022/23 season, he made his debuts at Opera Vlaanderen (Satyagraha), Oper Frankfurt (Das schlaue Füchslein), and at the Staatsballett Berlin (Onegin). In the 2023/24 season, he will direct the inaugural production BOVARY for Christian Spuck's directorship at the Staatsballett Berlin.

In the symphonic field, Jonathan Stockhammer has conducted numerous renowned orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed at festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Schwetzingen Festival, the Donaueschingen Music Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Vienna Festival and Wien Modern. He has a special preference for productions that defy the usual categorizations. These include Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions, a CD of works by Frank Zappa with the Ensemble Modern (RCA, 2003), which was which was awarded an ECHO Klassik, and the new soundtrack to Sergei Eisenstein's film Battleship Potemkin by and with the Pet Shop Boys. The live recording he conducted, The New Crystal Silence with Chick Corea, Gary Burton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra won a Grammy in 2009. Also very successful was his collaboration with rapper Saul Williams for Said the Shotgun to the Head, a composition by Thomas Kessler, which Jonathan Stockhammer performed with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, the RSO Stuttgart and the Oslo Philharmonic. Jonathan Stockhammer first studied Chinese and political science, and later composition and conducting in his hometown of Los Angeles.

While still a student, he stood in for several concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and subsequently and subsequently assisted principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Upon completion of his studies, he moved to Germany and developed close artistic relationships with renowned European ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, the Collegium Novum Zurich and the Ensemble Resonanz.