âShe is an inquisitive artist who knows how to motivate an orchestra while simultaneously demanding the highest standards. She can immerse herself in the intricacies of sound color but also knows when to let go.â This was the opinion of the jury from the magazine âOpernweltâ in the autumn of 2019 when they named 33-year-old conductor Joana Mallwitz âConductor of the Yearâ.
Mallwitz, who since the 2018/2019 season has been General Music Director of the Nuremberg State Theater, is celebrated by critics as an âextraordinarily talented conductorâ able from her position in the orchestra pit to shape and animate the musical action like a âstage director in soundâ (Reinhard J. Brembeck in the SĂźddeutsche Zeitung).â¨â¨Born in the German city of Hildesheim, Mallwitz received her musical training at the Hochschule for Theater and Media in Hanover, where at the age of only 13 she was accepted into the schoolâs institute for highly gifted young artists. She studied conducting with Martin BrauĂ and Eiji Oue as well as piano with Karl-Heinz KĂ¤mmerling and Bernd Goetzke. In 2009, she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize of the state of Lower Saxony.
In 2014, Mallwitz became General Music Director of Theater Erfurt, the youngest person in Europe to hold such a position. In addition to preparing substantial new productions, she founded the Orchestra Academy of the Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra and established a composer-in-residence program, âErfurts Neue Notenâ. She also developed the popular Expedition Concerts, where in a dual role as conductor and moderator at the piano she introduced audiences to works from the symphonic literature.
In 2018, Joana Mallwitz brought this successful format to her new artistic home at the Nuremberg State Theater, where in her first season as General Music Director she was responsible for new productions of Prokofievâs âWar and Peaceâ and Wagnerâs âLohengrinâ that were enthusiastically received by critics from throughout Germany.
There followed her debuts at the Bavarian State Opera (âEugen Oneginâ and âLâelisir dâamoreâ) and the Oslo Opera (âDer Rosenkavalierâ). She has conducted concert programs with orchestras such as the Symphony Orchestra of the Hessian Radio, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Danish Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica.
With this yearâs production of âCosĂŹ fan tutteâ in Salzburg, directed by Christof Loy, she became the first female conductor in the history of the Salzburg Festival to be entrusted with an entire production. Highlights of the coming season include a new production of Monteverdi`s âLâOrfeoâ in Nuremberg and her U.S. debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In March she will appear as a guest at the Vienna State Opera for the first time with a performance series of âMadama Butterflyâ.