David Danzmayr, Conductor


Described by "The Herald" as "extremely good, concise, clear, incisive and expressive", David Danzmayr is widely regarded as one of the most talented and exciting European conductors of his generation.

Danzmayr is Chief Conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the first to hold this title in seven years. As leader of this orchestra, he is following in the footsteps of famous conductors like Lovro von Matacic, Kazushi Ono and Dmitri Kitajenko. Last season, he led the orchestra in a highly successful tour to the Salzburg Festspielhaus where they performed the prestigious New Year’s concert and were immediately re-invited to perform in future seasons.

In the US, David is Music Director of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, where his contract was recently extended, as well as the Artistic Advisor of the Breckenridge Music Festival.

Previously, David Danzmayr served as Music Director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra in Chicago, where he was lauded regularly by both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Classical Review for the performances. He was also the only conductor in the Chicago area who programmed a piece of American music on every concert.

David has won prizes at some of the world ́s most prestigious conducting competitions, including a 2nd prize at the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition and prizes at the International Malko Conducting Competition. For his extraordinary success, he has was awarded the Bernhard Paumgartner Medal by the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum.
Propelled by these early successes into a far reaching international career, Danzmayr has quickly become a sought after guest conductor for orchestras around the globe, having worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Detroit Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Mozarteum Orchester, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Lousiana Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Philharmonic, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.

Besides numerous re-invitations, future engagements will include concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Essener Philharmoniker and Hamburger Symphoniker.

David frequently appears in the world ́s major concert halls, such as the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg, Usher Hall Edinburgh and the Symphony Hall in Chicago.

He has served as Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which he conducted in more than 70 concerts so far, performing in all the major Scottish concert halls and in the prestigious Orkney-based St Magnus Festival. He has regularly been re-invited to the podium since then.

David Danzmayr received his musical training at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg where, after initially studying piano, he went on to study conducting in the class of Dennis Russell Davies. He finished his studies with the highest honours.
David was strongly influenced by Pierre Boulez and Claudio Abbado in his time as conducting stipendiate of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and by Leif Segerstam during his additional studies in the conducting class at the Sibelius Academy. Subsequently, he gained significant experience as assistant to Neeme Järvi, Stephane Deneve, Carlos Kalmar, Sir Andrew Davies and Pierre Boulez, who entrusted Danzmayr with the preparatory rehearsals for his own music.

Chicago Classical Review
Chicago Classical Review, Dennis Polkow
Sun, 2013-03-24
Continuing his first season as the new music director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 32-year old Austrian conductor David Danzmayr is creating a considerable amount of excitement [] Having already conducted most of an impressive inaugural season made up of wide-ranging repertoire, Danzmayrs familiarity and authority with Austro-Germanic repertoire was on display Saturday night at a packed Lincoln-Way North Center for the Performing Arts. [] he led a performance of immense spirit and nuance. Danzmayrs stalwart interpretation and the determination of the orchestra to realize that vision made this anything but a routine performance. Momentum and a careful eye on larger structure were apparent throughout, with Danzmayrs considerable attention to carefully sculpted dynamics and getting to the musical heart of each movement. []
Chicago Classical Review
Chicago Classical Review, Lawrence Johnson
Sun, 2013-01-20
[] What makes the Philharmonic noteworthy these days is the podium leadership of Danzmayr, 32, who is clearly a young conductor on the rise, displaying assured handling of repertoire from Baroque to the 20th century. La Mer, the evenings main work, was particularly noteworthy. [] Danzmayr elicited responsive and often quite lovely playing in Debussys sonic seascape. The conductor judged the ebb and flow of this evocative music with great skill and drew finely balanced textures, with a vibrant climax in the first movement. The second section, Play of the Waves, was especially well done, and Danzmayr brought edgy turbulence to the storm-tossed finale with superb vigor and impact. []
Kronenzeitung, Balduin Sulzer
Thu, 2012-12-13
Vielbejubeltes AK-Classics-Konzert im Linzer Brucknerhaus [...] Und als Höhepunkt eine hinreißende Fünfte von Tchaikovsky, welche das Bruckner Orchester unter Dirigent David Danzmayr über sich hinauswachsen ließ  eine Wiedergabe von überwältigender Intensität!
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein
Fri, 2012-11-16
Tchaikovsky's music has served as a calling card for many a maestro, but few have used it to galvanize orchestral players as impressively, their first time out of the box, as Danzmayr did on this occasion. The Russian composer's Fifth Symphony proved to be a fine means of displaying his command and the IPO's sturdy corporate mettle. Building brooding atmosphere from the portentous introduction through the main body of the opening movement, Danzmayr had his strings and brass digging into their instruments with a dark-toned intensity that underscored the Slavic fatefulness of the music. His vigorous and decisive gestures left no doubt as to his natural command of the music or of his musicians.The well-integrated IPO woodwinds rose to the fore in the heart-on-sleeve lyricism of the slow movement, complete with a supple horn solo from John Fairfield. The third-movement waltz was graceful and lilting. Danzmayr is among the few conductors who properly observe the mezzo-forte (medium loud) marking at the opening of the finale. The movement swept to the double bar in a white heat of collective concentration. [] Clearly Danzmayr has what it takes to make the Illinois Philharmonic a major player among the orchestras that are providing the greater Chicago area with such a rich abundance of symphonic music. He and the IPO may be just the ticket to lure classical music buffs away from their customary downtown-Chicago migration patterns.
Chicago Classical Review
Chicago Classical Review, Lawrence Johnson
Sun, 2012-11-11
Charismatic young conductor opens Illinois Philharmonics 35th season in style [] the entire orchestra is clearly stoked by their new maestro and played with daunting fire and responsiveness Saturday. [] Danzmayr elicited a robust, powerful and high-voltage performance. The strings were especially inspired handling the fast figures at Danzmayrs fleet tempos securely, and the conductor built inexorable dramatic momentum to a rousing and emphatic coda that brought the audience to their feet.
The Herald
The Herald, Michael Tumelty
Mon, 2010-02-01
[...] he was off the leash in a full-scale, full-on winter season programme, attended by an enormous audience - a near capacity house. And for my money he did a tremendous job. His culminating performance of Tchaikovskys Fifth Symphony was electric, and, I should say, so was the playing of the orchestra which sounded and felt as though it backed him to the hilt. [...] the performance by Danzmayr and the RSNO had one indestructible quality: it felt utterly real. Danzmayr clearly senses the incredibly emotional, hothouse atmosphere of the symphony, from its introspection to its blazing volatility. The RSNO, just as clearly, gave it back to him in a febrile, pulsating performance that was gripping in its intensity and en¬thralling in the feeling of spontaneity that coursed through its veins. Bravo to him and them []
Salzburger Nachrichten
Salzburger Nachrichten, Karl Harb
Thu, 2009-12-24
[...] Besonders der Drive des Schlusssatzes der g-Moll-Symphonie ließ erkennen, dass hier eine sorgfältig durchgestalten¬de Hand am Werk war: ohne dirigentische Mätzchen, dafür durchaus kontrastreich und effizient. Die vorangehenden Sätze waren durchsichtig und elegant phrasiert, klangschön tariert [...]
The Herald
The Herald, Iona Bain
Mon, 2009-11-02
[...] The RSNO was also on diabolically good form for their performance, aided and abetted by conductor David Danzmayrs brisk tempi. Who would have thought it? Holsts all too recognisable anthems given their fizz back by an Austrian, unham¬pered by Jupiters past in Britain as a slightly bloated piece of bombast. If all the Naked Classics promise this much mi¬schief, they might just be too good to miss.
Basler Zeitung
Basler Zeitung
Fri, 2009-10-23
[...] Da war die Geschmeidigkeit der Streicher ebenso zu bewundern wie die Präsenz der Bläser, die im abschliessenden Choralsatz (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott) für dichte Athmosphäre sorgten. Dirigent David Danzmayr hielt [...] Balance zwischen zupackendem Glaubenseifer und weicher Innerlichkeit. Das klang feierlich, aber nicht zu dick aufgetragen. [...]
The Herald
The Herald, Michael Tumelty
Wed, 2007-10-24
[Danzmayr] is extremely good, concise, clear, incisive and expressive. More than anything else, he looks a complete natural across the range of repertoire. And he gets a good response from the band. [...]
The Scotsman
The Scotsman
Mon, 2009-11-02
[...] After the interval, conductor David Danzmayr and the orchestra gave a superb high-octane performance of The Planets [...]
ProMusica: "Mozart and the Masters" sampling shines
The Columbus Dispatch
Sun, 2013-11-10
Few composers can rival Mozart as a study in contrasts: the voluble young man who dished out scatological jokes in multiple languages, the composer who met an early death yet achieved immortality through the fruits of his astonishing gift. Under the direction of Music Director David Danzmayr, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and violin soloist Philippe Quint showcased last night at the Southern Theatre the glorious chiaroscuro of Mozarts music and that of composers who came before and after him. The Wind Octet No. 3 of Mozarts older contemporary Josef Myslivecek was a bit of an unusual opening gambit for a program called Mozart and the Masters. Though pleasant, the octet pales next to much of Mozarts own wind music. Nevertheless, the works first movement, Allegro, bubbled along in the hands of ProMusicas woodwinds. The musicians outlined lovely lyrical moments in the second movement, and the third movement danced joyously to its (somewhat abrupt) ending. Danzmayr joined the orchestra and Quint for a seemingly effortless performance of Mendelssohns Violin Concerto in E Minor. Quint, a last-minute substitution into what was scheduled to be violinist Vadim Gluzmans debut as ProMusicas creative partner and principal guest artist, performed with an engaging presence and an assured technique. Danzmayr led the orchestra in perfect time and balance with Quint throughout. Quint carried off the lyricism of the second movement, so precariously close to sentimentality, with a dignified sense of the movements larger architecture. In the concertos finale, Danzmayrs precision and lightness on the podium resulted in a Mozartean clarity in the orchestra, a perfect match for Quints pristine and effervescent passagework. Danzmayr went for the big picture in Mozarts Symphony No. 40, his brisk tempo in the first movement Molto allegro allowing the shape of each phrase to emerge before a field of beautiful dynamic contrasts. In Danzmayrs hands, the melodies of the second movement became sighs, and even at peak dynamics, the orchestra never sacrificed warmth of sound. The lightness of the first two movements disappeared at the beginning of the heavy-footed third movement, Menuetto, returning again in the movements Trio section. The finale sizzled at top speed, all darkness and light, shadow and sparkle. By Jennifer Hambrick
Press Service

Photo: Bjørn Bertheussen