Christian Knapp – one of the world’s most outstanding young conductors – regularly performs in concerts and festivals throughout the world. He was born in the USA and has studied for two degrees – as a pianist and as a philosopher. He initially studied conducting at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Siena, Italy) under Yuri Temirkanov, Myung-Whun Chung and Ilya Musin, later continuing his studies at the St Petersburg State Conservatoire with Ilya Musin and Leonid Korchmar. In 1999 he was awarded a prestigious post-graduate study grant by the Royal College of Music in London.
Christian Knapp is a highly accomplished operatic conductor. He began to work in this capacity at the experimental Broomhill Opera in London (2000 to 2003). He also helped to create its sister company in South Africa. The theatre’s innovative productions have brought it international recognition and resulted in several worldwide tours. Knapp has also conducted at the world’s leading opera houses, among them the English National Opera and the Seattle Opera; his repertoire includes such operas as Elektra, Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der Fliegende Holländer, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Lohengrin, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Der Silbersee, Il trittico, La Bohème, Turandot, Carmen, The Turn of the Screw, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Grimes and The Rake’s Progress.
Christian Knapp collaborates with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Milwaukee and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The conductor has also appeared with the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Lithuania, the Houston, São Paulo and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Oakland Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony among others.
Christian Knapp enjoys performing contemporary music and collaborates with youth ensembles throughout the world, among them the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in New York.
Premieres that he has conducted that have had a wide resonance with the public and the press include the American premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Zones at the Mostly Mozart festival at the Lincoln Center in New York as well as performances of works by 20th and 21st century composers. Christian Knapp loves unearthing new talent and often invites contemporary composers to feature in his concerts, among them Pierre Boulez, John Adams, George Crumb, Thomas Adès, Julian Anderson, Kaija Saariaho, György Ligeti, Pascal Dusapin, György Kurtág, Philippe Hurel and Karlheinz Stockhausen to name but a few.