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 Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, and the Grafenegg Festival. Mr. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. The orchestra’s next tour of European cities will take place in fall 2019. Among Mr. Honeck’s Grammy-nominated recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony are Richard Strauss’s tone poems and suites, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. The ensemble’s most recent recording, of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, won the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in 2018.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Honeck has worked with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, and the Vienna Philharmonic. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. Appearances with American orchestras include engagements with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2017.
Mr. Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President and he was named Artist of the Year in 2018 by the International Classical Music Awards.