Christoph Poppen
Music Director

FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR: Making music again

Conductor, soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, Christoph Poppen has made a name for himself in diverse roles in the international musical world. As Music Director of Hong Kong Sinfonietta from the 2023/2024 season, he works closely with Music Director Emeritus Yip Wing-sie and Associate Conductor Vivian Ip on the artistic development of the orchestra, creating inspiring and innovative programmes which bring music closer to the community. Highlights of his appearances with the orchestra this season include the Hong Kong première of Toshio Hosokawa’s Violin Concerto, the Asian première of William Kentridge’s Oh, To Believe In Another World, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with WDR Rundfunkchor Köln, his brand new Maestro’s Insights concert series, as well as the Farewell Gala of the Marvão International Music Festival in Portugal.

As Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s Principal Guest Conductor between 2015-2023, Poppen has presented to the Hong Kong audience a rich repertoire ranging from Austro-German masterpieces to contemporary works, brought the orchestra on tour to Germany and Portugal, and taken up the position of Co-chair of the Hong Kong International Conducting Competition. During the current season, he continues his close and highly successful collaboration with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra in his role as Principal Conductor, and with the Israel Chamber Orchestra as Principal Guest Conductor, while being the Artistic Director of the Marvão International Music Festival. Highlights in the 2022/2023 season included appearing with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música and return visits to the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Munich Chamber Orchestra and Athens State Orchestra, as well as the continuation of his recorded cycle of the complete Mozart Masses with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra for the Naxos label.

From 1995-2006, Poppen 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, he was appointed Music Director of Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken and from 2007-2011, he was Music Director of the newly formed Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. He has appeared with orchestras such as Vienna Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Detroit Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bamberg Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Indianapolis Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, 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. As an opera conductor, he has enjoyed acclaimed collaborations with Staatsoper Stuttgart, Oper Frankfurt, Opera Köln, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen and the RuhrTriennale.

Founded by Poppen in 2014, the Marvão International Music Festival has grown to become a highly successful and award-winning musical event featuring soloists such as Jörg Widmann, Augustin Hadelich, Javier Perianes and Clara-Jumi Kang. He also founded the International Academy for Music, Arts and Science in Marvão in 2019, and was the Artistic Director of the Classic Revolution Festival in Seoul, South Korea between 2020-2022, for which he curated highly inventive programmes.

As a prize-winning violinist, Poppen co-founded the Cherubini Quartet 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 to 2000.  From 2001 to 2005, he was Artistic Director of the renowned ARD International Music Competition. Since 2003, he has been Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. Since the 2021/2022 academic year, he has been Chair Professor of Violin at the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.


Concerts conducted by Christoph Poppen in the 2023/2024 Season

20.5.2023 (Sat)
French May Arts Festival
Great Piano Concertos: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet Plays Beethoven


8.7.2023 (Sat)
Great Brass Concertos: Trumpet & Tuba: 2-in-1


30.7.2023 (Sun)
Marvão International Music Festival: Farewell Gala


21.10.2023 (Sat)
Great Violin Concertos: Veronika Eberle Plays Hosokawa & Mozart


18 & 19.11.2023 (Sat & Sun)
Oh, To Believe In Another World
A film by William Kentridge for Shostakovich Symphony No 10


1 & 2.12.2023 (Fri & Sat)
Christmas Oratorio
By Johann Sebastian Bach


9.3.2024 (Sat)
Maestro’s Insights: Brahms Violin Concerto


2023/2024 Season: Double Happiness

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