Matthias Pintscher is the newly appointed Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony, effective from the 2024-25 season. He has just concluded a successful decade-long tenure as the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the iconic Parisian contemporary ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez and winner of the 2022 Polar Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy. During his stewardship, Pintscher led this most adventurous institution in the creation of dozens of world premieres, recorded CDs of music by cutting edge composers from all over the world, and took the ensemble on tours around the globe – to Asia and North America, and throughout Europe to all the major festivals and concert halls.
The 2023-24 season will see Pintscher in his fourth year as Creative Partner at the Cincinnati Symphony, where he will conduct a new work by inti figgis-vizueta, as well as an immersive video-concert of Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles. He will also tour with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie where he is artist in residence. As guest conductor, he returns to the RAI Milano Musica, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, NDR Hamburg, Indianapolis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, La Scala, and Berlin’s Boulez Ensemble. Pintscher has conducted several opera productions for the Berliner Staatsoper (Wagner’s Lohengrin and The Flying Dutchman), Wiener Staatsoper (Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando), and the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris. He returns to the Berliner Staatsoper in 2024 for Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee.
Pintscher is also well known as a composer, and his works appear frequently on the programs of major symphony orchestras throughout the world. In August 2021, he was the focus of the Suntory Hall Summer Festival – a weeklong celebration of his works with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra as well as a residency by the EIC with symphonic and chamber music performances. His third violin concerto, Assonanza, written for Leila Josefowicz, was premiered in January 2022 with the Cincinnati Symphony. Another 2021-22 world premiere was neharot, a co-commission of Suntory Hall, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Staatskapelle Dresden, where he was named Capell-Compositeur. In the 2016-17 season, he was the inaugural composer-in-residence of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and from 2014 to 2017, he was artist-in-residence at the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, as well as composer-in-residence at Salzburg Festival and Lucerne Festival.
Pintscher has held titled positions, most recently as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Artist-in-Association for nine seasons. In 2020, he was Music Director at Ojai Festival, and in 2018-19, he served as the Season Creative Chair for the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Artist-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. An enthusiastic supporter of and mentor to students and young musicians, Pintscher was Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, ran the Heidelberger Atelier, an academy for young musicians and composers, from 2005 to 2018, and has worked with the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West, National Orchestral Institute, and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. He appears virtually every season with the New World Symphony in Miami, a training orchestra for post-conservatory, pre-professional musicians. Pintscher has been on the composition faculty of the Juilliard School since 2014.