In 2020 Titus Engel was named Conductor of the Year by Opernwelt magazine. With his comprehensive view of repertoire from a wide range of musical eras, he consistently grasps 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 be seen regularly performing central works of opera literature – most recently he thrilled audiences with Lohengrin at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl. Always ready to break new ground in his exploration of staged concepts on the podium, he sees music theatre as a field of experimentation in which social utopias can flourish.
The Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, SWR Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Chamber Orchestras of Basel, Zurich, and Munich count among the many renowned orchestras Titus Engel has conducted. As a guest conductor he also regularly works with ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble musikFabrik, Collegium Novum Zürich, Remix Ensemble, and Klangforum Wien, among others.
He made his opera debut with the premiere of Schweitzer’s Jakob von Gunten in Dresden in 2000. Since then, he has conducted Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Theater an der Wien); Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Berg’s Wozzeck, and Béla Bartóks Blue Beard’s Castle (Stuttgart Opera); Offenbach’s Fantasio (Komische Oper Berlin); Telemann’s Orpheus and Mozart’s Betulia Liberata (Frankfurt Opera); Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Hamburg State Opera), Glass‘s Akhnaten (Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp/Ghent), Nunez’s La Douce (Staatsoper Berlin); Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Opéra de Lyon); Glass’ Einstein on the Beach (Grand Théatre de Genève); and Verdi´s La Traviata (Theater Basel). Titus Engel’s debut at the Teatro Real Madrid conducting the world premiere of Pilar Jurado’s La página en blanco in February 2011 was widely praised by the press and audiences alike. He followed this with triumphant world premieres of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain (2014) and Elena Mendoza’s La ciudad de las mentiras (2017). In 2016 together with Lydia Steier he brought the Swiss premiere of Stockhausen’s Donnerstag to the stage at Theater Basel – Opernwelt magazine named the production “Performance of the Year”. The premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s opera Infinite Now took place in 2017, which he conducted at the Opera Vlaanderen, the Nationaltheater Mannheim, and the Philharmonie de Paris. He has also led numerous world premieres (Sergej Newski, Leo Dick, Olga Neuwirth, Michael Wertmüller, Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander) at the Salzburg Festival, Berliner Festspiele, Lucerne Festival, and the Wiener Konzerthaus.
Following the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller’s D.I.E. at the Ruhrtriennale, Titus Engel conducted a revival of Strauss’ Salome as well as a new production of Nielsen’s Masquerade in a staging by Tobias Kratzer at the Oper Frankfurt in 2021. In 2022, he gave his house debuts at the Bavarian State Opera with Franz Lehárs Giuditta (Regie: Christoph Marthaler) and with Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Bluthaus (direction: Claus Guth) as well as lead a revival of BORIS – Mussorgski’s Boris Godunow combined with Sergej Newski’s Secondhand-Zeit. Further highlights included concerts at Wien Modern (Klangforum), with the SWR Symphony Orchestra (100th anniversary Donaueschinger Musiktage), WDR Symphony Orchestra (Musik der Zeit), and the State Orchestra Hannover with Mahler’s 7th Symphony. At the Tiroler Festspiele Erl he performed the Brahms symphonies with the Camerata Salzburg and revived the works in accordance with the performance conditions and traditions of interpretation of the Brahms period (Meiniger Hofkappelle, scores with notes of Fritz Steinbach).
After studying musicology and philosophy in Zurich and Berlin he studied conducting in Dresden with Christian Kluttig. This training was supplemented by support from the Conductors Forum of the German Music Council and David Zinman’s American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, as well as assistantships with Sylvain Cambreling, Marc Albrecht, and Peter Rundel. Titus Engel has recorded numerous works for radio and CD and is the founder of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute, in addition to having edited several books on contemporary opera.