Austria’s Graz Opera Principal Conductor to Step Down

German conductor Roland Kluttig will step down from his post after his contract expires in summer 2023

(Photo credit: Licht-Schein | Sebastian Klein)


Roland Kluttig has been the principal conductor of Graz Opera and the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2020-21 season and succeeded conductor Oksana Lyniv in the role

Following three seasons with Graz Opera, Kluttig will venture into freelance conducting. “[This] step is conscious and I’m curious about what’s coming,” he told Archyde news in an interview. “I have dared to take the leap to become a freelance conductor before and have learned that new perspectives are always opening up.”

“I would very much wish that the Graz Philharmonic would have a much higher status in the city and in the country,” he continued. “[However, with] the criticism on the one hand and the enthusiasm about the musical successes on the other hand; that finally tore me apart and then the decision was made to leave. Such a step is of course complex, and other things also play a role.”

While Kluttig makes future plans, he is dedicated to his final season with Graz Opera. His calendar after 2023 “is already quite full,” he said. “I have invitations from German, Austrian and Scandinavian orchestras, and maybe there will be a reunion in Graz soon,” he added.

Starting his career as the musical director of the Ensemble KNM Berlin in 1992, he quickly drew attention across Europe, conducting the Klangforum Wien, London Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg Amsterdam, and the Collegium Novum Zürich. His mentors have included Peter Eötvös and John Eliot Gardiner.

Kluttig previously served as kapellmeister and assistant conductor at Staatsoper Stuttgart between 2000 and 2004. From 2010 to 2020, he was general music director at the Landestheater Coburg.

He has conducted orchestras such as the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia, Seoul Philharmonic, among many others.

Kluttig studied at the Dresden College of Music and has been supported by the Conductors’ Forum of the German Music Council, the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and the Herbert von Karajan Foundation.