Philipp Ahmann (biography in English)

After several years of close collaboration Philipp Ahmann has been shaping MDR Leipzig Radio Choir's artistic profile as Chief Conductor since January 2020.

Philipp Ahmann, Künstlerischer Leiter des MDR-Rundfunkchors, sitzt auf einer Mauer
Bildrechte: MDR/Andreas Lander

Philipp Ahmann's close collaboration with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir dates back to 2010 and has included successful CD productions and concert projects. In 2013 the ensemble appointed him Principal Guest Conductor for a period of three years, and since January 2020 Philipp Ahmann has been shaping the choir's artistic profile as Chief Conductor. During the last season his focus was on numerous a cappella compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries as well as vocal works by Anton Bruckner and Michael Haydn. The resulting CD recording "Motets" was released by Pentatone in March of 2021. In the summer of 2020 the virtual premiere of the MDR commission "Inseln" by Michael Langemann, reflecting the situation in our society during the time of the pandemic, also received much attention. He also conducted Martinů’s "Feldmesse" in a concert for the Leipzig Book Fair 2020, and as part of the Leipziger Jazztage 2019 he led the successful premiere of John Hollenbeck's "Inseparable.Unteilbar" for choir and big band.

Kreisförmig aufgestellter Chor, in der Mitte in Dirigent.
Bildrechte: MDR/Stephan Flad

From 2008 to 2018 Philipp Ahmann was Chief Conductor of the NDR North German Radio Choir in Hamburg. He has worked with early music orchestras such as Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, B'Rock, Bell'arte Salzburg, Concerto con Anima, Concerto Köln, Le Concert Lorrain and the Elbipolis Baroque Orchestra Hamburg, ensembles specialising in contemporary music including the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and Ensemble Resonanz and the Fabergé-Quintett, as well as conducting the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and the NDR Radiophilharmonie. His work with the Berlin Radio Choir, the "Groot Omroepkoor" (the Dutch Public Broadcasting Foundation radio choir), the WDR Radio Choir Cologne and the SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart as well as productions with the Bigband "Spielvereinigung Sued", the NDR Bigbandand NDR Brass bear witness to his versatility.

Philipp Ahmann has been acclaimed not only for exploring a cappella repertoire from every musical period but also for his interpretation of oratorio works. While frequently focussing on works from the modern period, he has also explored compositions by Bach, Händel, Telemann, works from the French, Italian and Salzbug Baroque as well as key works of the Classical and Romantic Periods, such as Haydn's "Die Jahreszeiten", Mendelssohn's "Paulus" and "Elias", Mozart's "Requiem" and Berlioz' "L'Enfance du Christ". In 2019 he made his debut at the Ópera Nacional de Chile in Santiago with a staged production of Handel's "Rodelinda" to great acclaim.

He has been a guest at renowned festivals such as Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and the International Handel Festival Göttingen.

Philipp Ahmann bei seinem Antrittskonzert als Künstlerischer Leiter des MDR-Rundfunkchors in der Leipziger Peterskirche
Bildrechte: MDR/Andreas Lander

Philipp Ahmann was born in 1974 and studied conducting with Marcus Creed at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. He received further impulses from Frieder Bernius, Peter Neumann and Robin Gritton as well as from working with such distunguished orchestral conductors as Gerd Albrecht, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Peter Eötvös, Christoph Eschenbach, Thomas Hengelbrock, Heinz Holliger, Marek Janowski, Wladimir Jurowski, Andrew Manze, Kent Nagano, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Dennis Russell Davies, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Christian Thielemann and Lothar Zagrosek.