Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle

Artist photo of Pierre-Dominique  Ponnelle - Composer

Born in Munich in 1957, Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle is the son of Margit Saad (actress and firm director) and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (opera, movie and stage director, stage and costume designer).
Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle studied at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in his native city, majoring in composition with Rochus Gebhardt, conducting with Richard Böck and Peter Falk, later studying conducting with Otmar Suitner in Weimar and Herbert von Karajan in Berlin and Salzburg.
He has conducted at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, at the opera houses in Kassel, Innsbruck, Marseille, Nice, Zurich, Košice, Bratislava, Dushanbe, Bischkek, Tashkent, Almaty, Baku, Timišoara, Lvov (Lemberg) and Odessa.
In 2005, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Slovenian independence, he gave the premiere performance of the opera Brata (‘Brothers’) by Alojz Ajdič at the Ljubljana State Opera House, which Ponnelle conducted at the request of the composer.
He has conducted at the Festival of Two Worlds in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy, as well as the International Music Festival in Bratislava and the Mozart Festival in Würzburg, Germany.
Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle has conducted the Radio Symphony Orchestras in Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Bucharest and Luxembourg, the Essen, Wuppertal, Berlin, Săo Paulo, Vladivostock, Genoa and Valencia Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonia Hungarica, George Enescu Philharmonic of Bucharest, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the State Orchestras of Greece, Slovenia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Moldova, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Ukraine.
From 1992 to 1996 he worked with the Belarus State Philharmonic in Minsk, first as their Principal Guest Conductor and then Principal Conductor. His most important repertory was by Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler as well as Russian composers, especially Shostakovich. In Minsk he also conducted the Philharmonic Chorus in performances such as the German Requiem by Brahms and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. He conducted the premiere performance of the 9th Symphony for Electric Guitar and Large Orchestra by the important contemporary Belorussian composer Dmitry Smolsky.
His successful tenure in Minsk is documented on four CD recordings released on the Musicaphon and BMG labels (Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Shostakovich). Belorussian Television has broadcast many of his concerts. Bavarian State Television produced a 90-minute documentary on “Birdsongs” in which Ponnelle’s work with the Belarus State Philharmonic plays an important role.
Among other orchestras, he has conducted the Philharmonic Orchestras of Strasbourg, Monte Carlo, St. Gallen, Basle, Dresden, Munich, Zagreb, Ostrava, Brno, Wrocław, Cracow, Oradea, Cluj, Donetsk, Yalta, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, Rostov-on-Don, Yaroslavl, Kazan, Volgograd, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Novosibirsk and Saint Petersburg.
During a period of major change, at a time when, despite their rich cultural heritage, most of the large former Soviet urban centers were scarcely known to the West, Ponnelle established a cultural dialog on his own personal initiative. He presented the great German symphonic works to audiences which were often hearing this repertoire performed for the first time. He thus became the first conductor to perform Mahler’s 6th Symphony in Irkutsk and the first to conduct Bruckner’s 3rd Symphony in Ufa.
Two further examples demonstrate how one person, with the help of music, can contribute to international understanding: Firstly, it was a major event in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk when Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle, a conductor from Germany, conducted the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Shostakovich composed the work during the siege of Leningrad by the German Army. Secondly, when the great Yiddish actress Sidi Tal was honored in a commemorative concert in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. To mark the 20th anniversary of her death, Ponnelle conducted a program of music by Beethoven with the Chernivtsi Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ponnelle composed the soundtrack for a Bavarian State Television production of seven documentary films entitled “Italy—the Promised Land” (directed by Christian Rischert). His chamber music has been performed at the International Festival for New Music in Odessa, “2 Days and 2 Nights of New Music" in Odessa and at the “Rostov Premieres” Festival in Rostov-on-Don.

CDs released by GENUIN

with Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle

CD album cover 'Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle' (GEN 10163) with Gémeaux Quartett, Pierre-Dominique  Ponnelle

Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle

String Quartets No. 1 & 2
String Trio

Gémeaux Quartett string quartet
Pierre-Dominique Ponnelle Composer

GEN 10163  –  26.2.2010