Hartmut Haenchen (born March 21, 1943) is a prominent German orchestral conductor.
Haenchen was born in Dresden and began his musical career as a member of the Dresden Kreuzchor. Haenchen's first engagement was as director of the Robert-Franz-Singakademie (choral society) in Halle and conductor of the Halle Philharmonic Orchestra in 1966. The following stations were: Zwickau, Berlin, Schwerin, Dresden and the C. P. E. Bach Orchestra Berlin. In 1986, Haenchen became music director of the De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam and principal conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. During his tenure in Amsterdam, The Dutch opera became renowned for its high-quality ensemble productions and innovative stagings. Under his leadership, the newly-formed Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra quickly rose in stature, not only in its opera performances but also in symphonic concerts, recordings, and foreign tours. However, Haenchen resigned his position in September 2002 in protest of budgetary cuts.
Haenchen has made guest appearances in virtually all the European countries and toured Japan, the United States and Canada. He has conducted opera in Bologna, Geneva, Jerusalem, London, Munich, New York, Stuttgart, Warsaw, Vienna and Wiesbaden. Two new productions, which he directed at the Royal Opera House in London, were singled out for the Laurence Olivier Award. In 1995 he returned to the Berlin State Opera as principal guest conductor.
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