Markus Stenz has been named as Principal Guest Conductor at Marin Alsop’s Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from the start of the 2015-16 season. Stenz made an acclaimed debut with the Maryland ensemble in October 2012 during which he ‘clearly bonded with the BSO’ according to the Baltimore Sun critic Tim Smith. Stenz himself described that meeting as ‘unforgettable’.
Stenz was born in 1965 in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler on the Rhine and is best known for his work as general music director of the city of Cologne and first kappellmeister of the Gurzenich Orchestra (with whom he is shortly to complete a recorded Mahler cycle) and for his current position as Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic. He has also held principal conductorships at the London Sinfonietta and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and was more recently Principal Guest Conductor at the Hallé in Manchester. Audiences in Baltimore can expect to see Stenz bring his wealth of experience in Austro-German orchestral and operatic music to the west coast.
Osmo Vänskä, meanwhile, has accepted the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, 18 years after standing down as the ensemble’s Chief Conductor. Vänskä, who has appeared as a guest conductor in Reykjavik each year since his resignation in 1996, will take up his position from the start of the new season this September, weeks after the ensemble makes its BBC Proms debut under Chief Conductor Ilan Volkov.
Vänskä also returns to another former employer – the Minnesota Orchestra – as Principal Conductor at the start of this season, following the resolution of the ‘lockout’ that forced his resignation last year.