Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. He was a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra before beginning his conducting career assisting Claudio Abbado in Vienna. He was later engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early posts include Leipzig, where he was one of the three main conductors of the MDR Symphony, and Oslo, where he was music director of Norwegian National Opera and principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic. He has also served as music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony and the Stuttgart State Opera and as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. He has also been Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than twenty years.
Mr. Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 2008. With that orchestra, he has performed at the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Mr. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. His recordings with the orchestra include Richard Strauss’s tone poems, Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, the symphonic suite from Janáček’s opera Jenůfa and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 (both nominated for Grammy awards), Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7, and, most recently, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. Several recordings, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are also available on the Japanese label Exton. Mr. Honeck’s debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, featuring works of Dvořák with Anne-Sophie Mutter, was recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and received an ECHO Klassik award in 2014.
In the 2016-17 season, he returns to Berlin and continues his regular collaboration with the orchestras of Bamberg, Stockholm, Oslo, Prague, and Rome. Other guest conducting engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, and Shanghai Symphony. These performances mark his San Francisco Symphony debut.
Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and Catholic University of America. Most recently, he was awarded the title of honorary professor by the Austrian Federal President.