Titus Engel was named Conductor of the Year by Opernwelt magazine in 2020. With his comprehensive view of repertoire from a wide range of epochs, he always understands works in their multifaceted relationality. Respected for his expertise in the field of historical performance practice as well as for his precise conducting of complex contemporary projects, the Berlin-born Zurich native can also regularly be experienced with central works of opera literature - for example, he thrilled audiences with “Lohengrin” at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in 2021. Always ready to break new ground in his exploration of scenic concepts on the podium, he sees music theatre as an experimental field on which social utopias can flourish.
From the 2023/24 season, Titus Engel will take over as Principal Conductor of the Basel Sinfonietta. After concerts with the Camerata Salzburg at the Salzburg Festival and at the Tyrolean Festival Erl, where he conducts all Brahms symphonies, he starts the 2022/23 season with Christoph Marthaler’s new production of Weber’s “Der Freischütz” in Basel. He will then return to the Bavarian State Opera with Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel” and Lehar’s “Giuditta”. He will also return to Lyon with Bartók’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” and to Stuttgart with Messiaen’s “Saint François d’Assise”. He can be heard in concert at the Musikfest Berlin with the Big Band of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, on tour with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and with the SWR Sinfonieorchester (ECLAT).
Guest conducting engagements have included the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Philharmonia Orchestra, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, SWR and WDR Sinfonieorchester, Staatsorchester Hannover, Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the chamber orchestras in Zurich and Munich as well as Ensemble Modern and Klangforum Wien.
In 2000 he made his operatic debut with the world premiere of Benjamin Schweitzer’s “Jakob von Gunten” in Dresden. Since then he has conducted, among others, Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” (Theater an der Wien), Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Holländer”, Berg’s “Wozzeck” and Bartók’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” (Stuttgart Opera), Offenbach’s “Fantasio” (Komische Oper Berlin), Mozart’s “Betulia liberate”, Strauss’s “Salome” and Nielsen’s “Maskerade” (Frankfurt Opera), Haas’s “Bluthaus” (Bayerische Staatsoper), Glass’s “Akhnaten” (Opera Vlaanderen Antwerpen/Gent), Nunez’ “La Douce” (Staatsoper Berlin), Ravel’s “L'Enfant et les Sortilèges” (Opéra de Lyon), Glass’s “Einstein on the Beach” (Grand Théâtre de Genève) and Verdi’s “La Traviata” (Theater Basel). His acclaimed debut at the Teatro Real Madrid, at the invitation of Gérard Mortier in 2011 with the world premiere of Pilar Jurado’s “La página en blanco”, was followed there by equally successful premieres of Charles Wuorinen’s “Brokeback Mountain” (2014) and Elena Mendoza’s “La ciudad de las mentiras” (2017). Together with Lydia Steier, he brought Stockhausen’s “Donnerstag” to the stage of Theater Basel in 2016; the production was named Performance of the Year by Opernwelt magazine. The world premiere of the year in 2017 was Chaya Czernowin’s opera “Infinite Now”, which he conducted at Opera Vlaanderen, the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Philharmonie de Paris. He has conducted other world premieres (Sergei Nevsky, Leo Dick, Olga Neuwirth, Michael Wertmüller, Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander) at the Salzburg Festival, the Berlin Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Ruhrtriennale and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Titus Engel studied musicology and philosophy in Zurich and Berlin and learned his conducting craft in Dresden with Christian Kluttig, supplemented by grants from the Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrats and David Zinman's American Academy of Conducting at Aspen as well as assistantships with Sylvain Cambreling, Marc Albrecht and Peter Rundel. He has recorded numerous works for radio and CDs and is the initiator of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute as well as the editor of several books on contemporary opera.
As of August 2022