Born in Paris in 1962, conductor Marc Piollet studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and attended masterclasses with John Eliot Gardiner, Michael Gielen and Kurt Masur. In 1995 he was a prizewinner at the Dirigenten-Forum of the Deutscher Musikrat. After early posts as First Kapellmeister at the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle and the Staatstheater Kassel he was Music Director of the Vienna Volksoper from 2003 until 2005. From 2004 until 2012 he was General Music Director at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden where he conducted acclaimed performances of Wagner’s complete Ring and numerous new productions.
In the 2021/2022 season a new production of Tristan und Isolde will take Marc Piollet to the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari. He will also conduct ballet premieres at Den Norske Opera (Oslo) and Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Ghent), as well as performances of Carmen (Düsseldorf) and Werther (Stuttgart). Concert engagements will bring him to the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester.
In recent seasons Marc Piollet has also worked with leading opera houses, including Royal Theatre in Copenhagen (La Bohème with Anna Netrebko as Mimi), Bavarian State Opera as part of the Munich Opera Festival (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Opéra National de Paris (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Rolando Villazón in the title role), Staatstheater Stuttgart (Jenůfa, Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Carmen and Don Giovanni), Vienna State Opera (Il barbiere di Siviglia) as well as Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (La Bohème and Carmen staged by Calixto Bieito). He made his muchacclaimed US opera debut in 2014 at the Cincinnati Opera, again with Carmen, and returned there for Le Nozze di Figaro in 2019.
Over the last years he established close collaborations with Deutsche Oper am Rhein (various new productions, most recently Petrushka/L’enfant et les sortilèges) and Teatro Real in Madrid, where he conducted C(h)oeurs, a highly successful production by Belgian choreographer Alain Platel featuring music of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Two new productions followed: L’elisir d’amore and Peter Sellar’s spectacular new staging of Tristan und Isolde.
Apart from his highly successful work as an opera conductor, Marc Piollet is in high demand also for the symphonic repertoire, appearing with renowned orchestras worldwide including Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Munich Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de Lyon, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
He conducted an all-Beethoven-programme at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Lang Lang and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. Together with Piotr Beczała he regularly performs opera galas, most recently together with the Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra in Moscow in April 2021.
For many years he has been enjoying a close artistic collaboration with Annette Dasch: a recording of Mozart Arias with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin was released by Sony, also noteworthy are the tours with the Munich Radio Orchestra and the joint production Die Gretchenfrage which was released in September 2014 on DVD and Blu-ray by EuroArts.
Being passionate about supporting young orchestra musicians, Marc Piollet regularly conducts projects with the Junge Sinfonie Berlin, which he founded while still a student. During his tenure as General Music Director in Wiesbaden he actively supported the establishment of the Orchestra Academy of the Hessische Staatsorchester Wiesbaden. Since autumn 2016 he has been professor of conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
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