Omer Meir Wellber
Omer Meir Wellber has established himself as one of today’s leading conductors of operatic and orchestral repertoire alike. He has held the position of Principal Guest Conductor at the Semperoper Dresden since September 2018, the Chief Conductor position of the BBC Philharmonic since July 2019 and will become the Music Director of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo in January 2020. He has conducted some of the world’s most prestigious ensembles including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, RAI Torino, SWR Symphonieorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and is a regular guest conductor at the Bavarian State Opera Munich. In addition to ongoing international appearances as a conductor, he is also a published author and maintains an active role in his native country of Israel, collaborating with ensembles in the region and promoting music integration projects.
In the 2019/20 season, Omer Meir Wellber will perform as guest conductor with several ensembles including the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Antwerp, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic as well as at the Dresden Music Festival on tour with the BBC Philharmonic. As Principle Chief Conductor in Dresden, he conducts the premiere of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in a new production by Calixto Bieto. In January 2020, Omer Meir Wellber begins his tenure as Music Director at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo with the New Year’s Concert and a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the end of January 2020.
2019 saw his debut at the BBC PROMS with the BBC Philharmonic with two concerts featuring works by Mozart, Haydn and Ben-Haim. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper Dresden, he conducted the new production of Verdi’s Nabucco in May 2019 and the revivals of Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser and Der Rosenkavalier as well as symphony concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden.
In the 2018 season, Omer Meir Wellber made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with performances of Bizet’s Carmen. In the summer, he also conducted the festival premiere of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Glyndebourne Festival where he made his 2014 debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the production of Eugene Onegin. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly was released on BlueRay by Opus Arte.
The 2016/2017 season included several opera engagements at the Semperoper and multiple performances of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas Cosi fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Don Giovanni as part of the Mozart-Tage 2017. In January of 2017, Wellber conducted Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. He made a prior appearance with the Orchestra del Teatro della Fenice for a 2016 concert featuring violinist Midori as part of a European multi-city tour. Wellber led the premiere of Andrea Chenier by Giordano in March 2017 at the Bavarian State Opera where he previously conducted a new production of Mefistofele in 2015. In November 2016 he conducted the Staatskapelle Dresden in the world premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s oratorio About Love and Hate.
Omer Meir Wellber served as the Music Director at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia from 2010 to 2014, leading both orchestral and operatic performances including Eugene Onegin which was published on DVD by C Major. He conducted Verdi’s operatic masterpiece trifecta – Rigoletto, La Traviata and Il Trovatore – at the Vienna Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2011 he made his debut at the Bavarian State Opera with La Traviata, and in 2010, his collaboration with the Semperoper began which has since included performances of Strauss’s Daphne, Ariadne auf Naxos and a concertante performance of Guntram. His highly-praised direction of Aida at the Arena di Verona was recorded and released on DVD by BelAir classiques in 2014.
From 2008 to 2010, Omer Meir Wellber assisted Daniel Barenboim at the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden and at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, directing the Scala in a critically-hailed performance of Verdi’s Aida at the Israeli Opera. In 2010, he also stepped in for Seiji Ozawa, conducting Strauss’s Salome at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto.
Omer Meir Wellber made his literary debut on October 14, 2019, with his first novel “Die vier Ohnmachten des Chaim Birkner” published by BerlinVerlag. The book tells the story of Chaim Birkner, a tired and broken man who is forced by his daughter to face life one last time.
“Die Angst, das Risiko und die Liebe – Momente mit Mozart” was published in the spring of 2017. Co-written with German author and journalist Inge Kloepfer, the book shares his personal understanding of the universal emotions addressed in the three Mozart/Da Ponte operas – Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Despite Omer Meir Wellber’s demanding schedule of international engagements, he maintains a deeply-rooted commitment to ensembles in his native country, Israel, and considers music to be a tool for social change in Israel. Since 2009, he has been Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra which dedicates itself to music education projects in particular, reaching more than approx. 70,000 children each year. For over ten years he was regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera where he conducted performances of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Puccini’s Turandot and Madama Butterfly, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Gounod’s Faust and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, among others. In 2007 he debuted with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2016, led the orchestra during its residency at the Dresden Music Festival.
The conductor also is a Good Will Ambassador for Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-based non-profit organization that provides critical cardiac medical support. In addition, Omer Meir Wellber collaborates with various institutions through outreach programs and fosters the next generation of conducting students through educational lectures.
Born in Be’er Sheva in 1981, Omer Meir Wellber began studying accordion and piano at the age of five. He took composition lessons with Tania Taler starting at the age of nine before continuing under Michael Wolpe until 2004. He graduated from the Be’er Sheva Conservatory in 1999 and received a music scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation which he used to study Conducting and Composition at the Jerusalem Music Academy from 2000-2008 with Eugene Zirlin and Mendi Rodan. Omer Meir Wellber’s compositions have been performed and broadcast both in Israel and internationally.