The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
can look back on a success story lasting over twenty years and is a popular guest at the most important concert halls and opera houses. A glance at the ensemble’s concert calendar shows a diverse repertoire played at a variety of venues, ranging from the Baroque to the musical present and from Freiburg to the Far East.
The Freiburgers’ artistic credo, however, remains unchanged: the creative curiosity of each of them, with the intention of playing a composition in as lively and as expressive a manner as possible. This also involves their own members playing demanding solo concerts. Cultivated and simultaneously rousing ensemble playing has thus become an international trade mark: “The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is a diamond of particular brilliance. In the technical and mental ‘mastery’ of the instruments and the individual parts one sees what ‘historical’ music-making is currently capable of. Vivid and pure, transparent and lucid, delicate in phrasing and articulation and without excessive pathetic pressure, one hears all the details and experiences the whole as a musical cosmos of overpowering richness. Open your ears, this is how music sounds!” (Salzburger Nachrichten)
The FBO continuously collaborates with important artists such as René Jacobs, Pablo-Heras Casado, Philip Jaroussky, Andreas Staier and Thomas Quasthoff, and has a close alliance with the French label harmonia mundi France. The artistic success of this musical partnership is expressed in numerous CD productions and the receipt of prominent awards, such as the ECHO Classical German Music Prize 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2007, the Gramophone Award 2011, the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2009, the Edison Classical Music Award 2008, or the Classical Brit Award 2007.
Under the artistic directorship of its two concertmasters Gottfried von der Goltz and Petra Müllejans, and under the baton of selected conductors, the FBO presents itself with about one hundred performances per year in a variety of formations from chamber to opera orchestra: a self-administrated ensemble with its own subscription concerts at Freiburg’s Concert Hall, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, and Berlin’s Philharmonie and with tours all over the world.
enjoys an unusually varied conducting career, encompassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically-informed performance and cutting-edge contemporary scores. In 2011 he was announced Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York, beginning a four-year term including an annual concert season at Carnegie Hall.
In 2013/14 Heras-Casado debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig – as well as at the Metropolitan Opera, where he conducts Verdi's Rigoletto. He returns to Carnegie Hall and the Caramoor Festival with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and conducts Beethoven's Symphony No.9 at the New Year's concerts of Staatskapelle Berlin. Other highlights include return performances with the San Francisco Symphony, Münchner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble intercontemporain. He also tours with Freiburger Barockorchester and guest conducts a series of concert and opera performances at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Past seasons have seen the Spanish conductor make important appearances with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He was also re-invited by Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Spanish National Orchestra and Teatro Real, Madrid. In 2012/13 he appeared for the first time at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper Frankfurt, while 2012 marked his debut at the Salzburger Festspiele.
In September 2013 Harmonia Mundi releases Heras-Casado's recording of Schubert's Symphonies Nos.3 & 4 with Freiburger Barockorchester. A second album, featuring Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Mendelssohn's Symphony No.2, "Lobgesang", follows in March 2014. Meanwhile Deutsche Grammophon's Archiv Produktion – which recently welcomed Heras-Casado as an "Archiv Ambassador" – has announced an album celebrating legendary castrato singer Farinelli. Autumn 2013 also sees the release of a disc on Sony featuring Placido Domingo in baritone arias by Giuseppe Verdi with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana conducted by Heras-Casado.
Recognized also for his work with contemporary music, Heras-Casado is a laureate of the 2007 Lucerne Festival conductors' forum. In Summer 2013, he returns for the third time to co-direct the festival's Academy at the personal invitation of Pierre Boulez.
Heras-Casado is the holder of the Medalla de Honor of the Rodriguez Acosta Foundation, and in February 2012 was awarded with the Golden Medal of Merit by the Council of Granada, his hometown, of which he is also an Honorary Ambassador. His 2011 DVD recording of Kurt Weill's "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny" from Teatro Real received the Diapason d'Or.