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Christoph Eschenbach


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Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940 in Breslau, Germany (today Wrocław, Poland) is a noted pianist and conductor. Orphaned by World War II, he won numerous first-place piano competition prizes.

In 1964 he made his first recording (of Mozart) for Deutsche Grammophon and signed a contract with the label. In 1981, Eschenbach became principal guest conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, and was chief conductor from 1982-86. Other posts include music director of the Houston (1988-99); chief conductor of the Hamburg NDR Symphony (1998-2004); and music director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1994-2003). He has made numerous recordings both as piano soloist and conductor.

Since 2000, Eschenbach has been the Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. In 2003, he became the Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, which was a controversial appointment because at the time of the announcement, January 2001, Eschenbach had not conducted the orchestra in over 4 years and there was a perceived lack of personal chemistry between him and the musicians prior to the appointment. In October 2006, the Orchestra announced that Eschenbach will conclude his tenure in Philadelphia at the close of the 2007-2008 season. In the weeks prior to his departure, Philadelphia Inquirer music critics Peter Dobrin and David Patrick Stearns debated whether or not he should be retained, with Dobrin suggesting that Eschenbach should move on and Stearns arguing that Eschenbach should remain.

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  • ativke

    I went to bed last night listening to Mozart and almost had an hallucinogenic experience. I realize this is partially due to my own predetermined mental fragility, but damn, that is one finely woven German tapestry. Anybody have his Schubert cycle?

    18 Nov 2011 Reply
  • hjbardenhagen

    Happy New Year to everyone, there's a new Conductors group on!

    3 Jan 2010 Reply

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