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.
He 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, having previously held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
From 2007 to 2010 he was Music Director at the Teatro Municipal of Santiago, Chile. He has also been director of the Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra, 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, Turin and Artistic Director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, Mexico City (2012–2015). From 2013 to 2019 he was Artistic Director of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra.
During his time at Novaya Opera Jan Latham-Koenig has conducted new productions of Tristan und Isolde, Il trovatore, L’enfant et les sortilèges, Le nozze di Figaro and Salome. In January 2010 he conducted Britten’s War Requiem during the 6th Epiphany Week International Festival and in 2017 Novaya Opera was the first in Russia to present Weinberg’s seminal opera The Passenger. He has participated in the Novaya Opera’s tours to Israel, the UK, Germany, Estonia, China, Austria, Italy and Ireland.
Winner of the prestigious Onegin Prize in St Petersburg in 2019, Jan Latham-Koenig has been nominated four times as Best Conductor in Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask Awards, winning in 2014 for Tristan und Isolde. Novaya Opera was nominated as Best Opera Company of the Year at the International Opera Awards in 2015 and as Best Opera Orchestra in 2019.
2020 sees him conducting l’Opera de Marseille, The Mexican premier of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, and a series of recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Projects include Novaya Opera on tour to Oman (Arena di Verona’s production of Rigoletto) and Dublin (La Traviata), as well as the first Moscow production of Holst’s Savitri with members of the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra.
His many guest conducting appearances include the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, New Japan Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jan Latham-Koenig conducted Carmen with Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation, Japan’s leading opera company, in October 2019. He is also delighted to be collaborating with world-leading architect Santiago Calatrava, his first ever design for opera, on a new production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites in Italy in January 2021, directed by Sophie Hunter.
He has assembled an extensive and varied discography of over 40 CDs.