Principal Conductor and Artistic Director
Drawing silken sound from the strings and burnished playing from the brass, Meister phrased the music [Brahms’ Second Symphony] with tenderness and old-world geniality, paying equal attention to the smallest moments and the longer musical paragraphs, and building to an exuberant crescendo to finish an uncommonly fine reading.
The Washington Post, Joe Banno, 02.05.2011
Cornelius Meister, born in Hannover in 1980, was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Each season, he directs the orchestra in Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein as well as the Konzerthaus, and in recordings and tours throughout Japan and Europe (Salzburg Festival, Berlin Philharmonie). In December 2012, the new 24-piece CD box “my RSO” and in January 2013, the latest recordings of Bruckner’s 4th Symphony and Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra” were released.
In July 2012, Cornelius Meister completed an impressive seven years as Music Director of the City of Heidelberg, of both the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera House. In 2007, he was honoured by the Association of German Music Publishers for the best German concert programming of a season (in Heidelberg). He was furthermore recognized for the extensive development he achieved in Heidelberg’s education programme.
Over recent seasons, Cornelius Meister has been guest conductor with major orchestras including Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris, Ensemble Intercontemporain Paris, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin as well as Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (DSO) Berlin, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BR) Munich.
In the early years of his international career, Cornelius Meister appeared at many important opera houses: Aged only 21, he gave his debut at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, followed by the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, New National Opera Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, Theater an der Wien, Royal Opera House Copenhagen, the Latvian State Opera (Der Ring des Nibelungen) and Vienna State Opera.
In 2013/2014, Cornelius Meister is invited to conduct concerts with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia Rome, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Washington DC, Orchestre de Paris, BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, Radio-Sinfonieorchester des SWR Stuttgart and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO). He gives his debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Sächsische Staatsoper (Semperoper) Dresden and Opera House Zurich.
Cornelius Meister studied piano and conducting at Hannover University with Konrad Meister, Martin Brauß and Eiji Oue, as well as at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Dennis Russell Davies, Jorge Rotter and Karl Kamper. He also plays cello and horn. As a pianist, he has given concerts in Europe and the USA. Most recently, Cornelius Meister play-conducted works by Grieg, Liszt, Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue), Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Pärt (Credo). He is prize-winner of the “Deutscher Musikwettbewerb” as well as the “Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival”.