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, moving full-time to conducting in 1982.
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.
Between 1989 to 1992 he was Music Director of the Orchestra of Porto, and 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 in Bruges, Belgium.
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 led the Novaya Opera’s tours to Israel, China and throughout Europe.
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 in 2019 as Best Opera Orchestra.
He is greatly in demand as a guest conductor. Some recent appearances include with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, New Japan Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, 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 conducted Carmen with Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation, Japan’s leading opera company, in October 2019. He is delighted to be collaborating with world-leading architect Santiago Calatrava on a new production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites for production in Turin. It will be Calatrava’s first design for opera and will be directed by Sophie Hunter. He will also be performing with the Arena di Verona on Zefferelli’s last unrealized production of Verdi’s Rigoletti at the Royal Opera House Oman, as well as starting an new collaboration with Cape Town Philharmonic and Opera, performing Pearl Fishers, Turn of the Screw and a series of concerts. He will be performing Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth at the Bellas Artes, Mexico City, and a UK tour in Spring 2022 with Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow.
In 2020 Jan Latham-Koenig was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to music and UK/Russia cultural relations
Jan Latham-Koenig has made over 40 CD recordings throughout his career, many of them highly acclaimed, including a Diapason d’or in 2001.