Jan Latham-Koenig is the founding Artistic Director of the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra. He has been Chief Conductor of the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow since April 2011, the first Briton to hold such a post in Russia. In 2013 he became Head of its Artistic Board.
He studied at the Royal College of Music in London and started his career as a pianist. In 1982 he decided to devote himself wholly to conducting. Since then he has performed with many of the leading European orchestras and, from 1989 to 1992, was Music Director of the Orchestra of Porto, which he founded at the request of the Portuguese government.
In 1988 he made a sensational debut as an opera conductor with Macbeth at the Vienna State Opera and became its permanent guest conductor from 1991, giving about one hundred performances. He now regularly conducts in the world’s leading opera houses, including Covent Garden, the Opéra National Paris-Bastille and the operas of Berlin, Hamburg, Rome, Lisbon and Santiago in Chile.
Jan Latham-Koenig was Music Director of both the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Opéra National du Rhin from 1997 to 2002. In 2005 he was appointed Music Director at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He is the first British conductor to hold such a post at one of the major Italian theatres, having previously held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
From 2007 to 2010 Jan Latham-Koenig was Music Director at the Teatro Municipal of Santiago in Chile. He has also been director of the Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra in Poland, the Wratislavia Cantans International Festival, the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano and of the Young Janáček Philharmonic. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Filarmonica del Teatro Regio in Turin and Artistic Director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in Mexico City (2012–2015). Since 2013 he has been Artistic Director of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in Bruges (Belgium).
At Novaya Opera Jan Latham-Koenig has given new productions of Tristan und Isolde, Il trovatore, L'enfant et les sortilèges, Le nozze di Figaro and Strauss’ Salome. He has also conducted Nabucco, Rigoletto and Borodin’s Prince Igor. In January 2010 he conducted Britten’s War Requiem during the 6th Epiphany Week International Festival. In January 2014 he conducted Walton's suites from the incidental music to Laurence Olivier's films Henry V and Hamlet, and Mendelssohn's incidental music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream during the Epiphany Festival at Novaya Opera. In August 2014 he conducted Britten's The Turn of the Screw (a production of Opera Northern Ireland) during the UK/Russia Year of Culture and has recently conducted the Moscow premiere of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. In 2017 Novaya Opera was the first to present Weinberg’s seminal opera The Passenger.
He has participated in the Novaya Opera's tours in Israel (the Israeli Opera, Tel-Aviv), the UK (Borodin’s Prince Igor at English National Opera, London), Germany (International May Festival in Wiesbaden), Estonia (the concert halls in Tartu, Tallinn and Narva), China (Shanghai Grand Theatre), the Bruckner Festival in Linz, Ireland (Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin) and the premiere of the new opera Pushkin at the UK’s Grange Park Opera in 2018. The Novaya Opera company performed Verdi's La Traviata and Puccini's La bohème under his baton at the 63° Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago (Italy, 2017).
Jan Latham-Koenig has been nominated three times as Best Conductor in Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask Awards, winning in 2014 for Tristan und Isolde, the first time Wagner’s opera had been performed in Moscow. Novaya Opera was nominated as Best Opera Company of the year at the International Opera Awards in 2015 and this year as Best Opera Orchestra.
Jan Latham-Koenig is greatly in demand as a guest conductor. He has appeared with orchestras world-wide and performs regularly in Italy, including with the orchestras of the Teatro Comunale in Florence, RAI Turin and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. As a guest conductor, some recent appearances include with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, New Japan Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and in China the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Hangzhou and Qingdao Philharmonic. He has conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jan Latham-Koenig has assembled an extensive and varied discography of over 40 CDs.