Ernst Theis


The “Radiomusiken” project

Wie das Radio in seinen Gründerjahren “laufen lernte” …
Der langjährige Chefdirigent der Staatsoperette Dresden, Ernst Theis, zur Wiederentdeckung eines am Nationalsozialismus zerbrochenen, weil angeblich “entarteten” Genres.


Vita Ernst Theis

Theis-for-webBorn in Upper Austria in 1961.
Study at the Vienna College of Music and the Performing Arts.
Active as a conductor since 1987 • winner of the conducting competition held in conjunction with the Darmstadt International Summer Courses in 1996, with Peter Eötvös heading the jury.

Concertizing with ensembles such as the St. Petersburg and Hamburg Symphonies, MDR Chamber Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, MDR Symphony Orchestra of Leipzig, WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne, NDR Radio Philharmonic of Hanover, ORF Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, Latvian National Orchestra of Riga, United European Chamber Orchestra of Milan, Monterrey Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trentino, Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra of Linz, and Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt.

Tours and guest conducting appearances have taken him to Stuttgart, Cologne, Dortmund, Bonn, Dresden, Hamburg, Essen, Magdeburg, Lucerne, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, and many other cities.
Stage activities at the Volksoper in Vienna, Burgtheater in Vienna, and Vienna Chamber Opera, work with the Vienna State Opera Ballet • artistic director of the Austrian Chamber Symphony from 1990 to 2005 • first complete recording worldwide of Haydn’s piano concertos in 2002 • frequent conducting at leading festivals such as Klangbogen in Vienna and Wien Modern • cooperation with soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sona Ghazarian, Eva Lind, and Thomas Hampson • since the 2003/04 season principal conductor at the Dresden State Operetta • here music director of works such as the previously unknown operettas Der Carneval in Rom and Das Spitzentuch der Königin by Johann Strauss • debut with the WDR Radio Orchestra at Philharmonic Hall in Cologne in January 2009.

Following the remarkable success of his interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s fifth symphony in the Bruckner House in Linz and in Philharmonic Hall in Bratislava with the Slovak Philharmonic, the international Bruckner Festival of Linz decided to entrust him with the conducting duties in this legendary work during the Gustav Mahler Commemorative Year in 2011.

Sound-carrier productions:
Four-part CD series with works of the twentieth century by composers such as Bohuslav Martinu, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Erwin Schulhoff with the Austrian Chamber Symphony. In 2002 he produced the first complete recording of Haydn’s piano concertos with the Italian pianist Massimo Palumbo – ARTS MUSIC.
In 2008 he recorded Das Spitzentuch der Königin and Der Carneval in Rom, both by Johann Strauss, with the Dresden State Operetta Ensemble for cpo.
In August 2009 he produced the first German complete recording of Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole.
La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and Les brigands, both by Jacques Offenbach, will also be released in this series as complete recordings during the next years.

Since 2005 Ernst Theis has regularly cooperated with the Central German Radio (MDR).
The RadioMusiken project arose from this cooperation and has as its aim the recording of the works composed for the radio medium during the years 1923 to 1933.

So far the following works have been presented:
Franz Schreker, Suite für Orchester; Ernst Toch, Bunte Suite für Orchester; Eduard Künnecke, Tänzerische Suite; Pavel Haas, Radio Overture; Kurt Weill, Berliner Requiem; Max Butting, Radiomusik Nos. 1 and 2 (Sinfonietta mit Banjo op. 37), Edmund Nick/Erich Kästner, Leben in dieser Zeit (radio cantata); Paul Hindemith, Sabinchen (radio play) in the reconstruction of the instrumentation by Ernst Theis.
The recordings produced to date will also be released in the RadioMusiken CD edition on the cpo label.
The radio music project will be continued with Walter Gronostay’s Mord (radio play) in the reconstruction of the instrumentation by Ernst Theis and with Mischa Spolianspy’s Charleston Caprice.
Prinz Methusalem by Johann Strauss has been recorded for the »The Unknown Johann Strauss« operetta project.


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