Christian Thielemann is to quit the Munich Philharmonic to take the post of chief conductor and music director of the Staatskapelle Dresden. He will be replacing Fabio Luisi from the 2012-13 season.
Thielemann will leave the Munich Philharmonic, of which he has been chief conductor and music director since September 2004. He had been in dispute with the Munich Philharmonic over the terms of his renewed contract – the sticking point had been whether the orchestra was prepared to allow Thielemann to have joint control over its guest conductors and their repertoire.
Thielemann is now leaving that orchestra for an orchestra once closely associated with the great conductor and composer Richard Strauss. Among the obvious attractions of the Staatskapelle Dresden for Thielemann is the increased opportunities the orchestra will give him to perform the kind of operatic repertoire he is most sympathetic to, as compared to the more symphonic tradition of the Munich Philharmonic. Thielemann has already built a strong relationship with many of the Staatskapelle musicians through his association with the Bayreuth festival, most of whose orchestral players are drawn from that orchestra.
Fabio Luisi is leaving the orchestra to join Zurich Opera.