Matthias Pintscher

Music Director, Ensemble Intercontemporain

Creative Partner, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra


© Franck Ferville


Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the world’s leading contemporary music ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez and from the 2020/21 season is the newly appointed Creative Partner of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Matthias began his musical training in conducting with Hungarian Composer and Conductor Peter Eötvös during his early twenties, during which time composing took a more prominent role in his life. Soon after, he divided his time equally between conducting and composing studying with teacher and mentor Pierre Boulez, soon rising to critical acclaim and more recently is conducting as a major role.

In 2020/21, Matthias will lead a new production of Lohengrin at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin directed by Calixto Bieito and return in the spring for repeat performances. Other conducting appearances this season include with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony and return to the Baltimore, Detroit and New World Symphony.

Matthias is a prolific composer whose works are performed by leading orchestras and artists worldwide. The debut of his Cello Concerto Un Despertar was premiered last season by Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and in April 2017 the World Premiere of Shirim for Baritone and Orchestra with Danish singer Bo Skovhus and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester in Hamburg. Matthias is also professor at The Julliard School since 2014 and is published by Bärenreiter-Verlag.



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    Label: Alpha Classics

    Release Date: 18 Nov 16

    Matthias Pintscher conducts Ensemble Intercontemporain in his own work ‘Bereshit’.

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    Rihm: Verwandlungen

    Label: Hänssler Classic

    Release Date: 25 Oct 16

    SWR Radiosymphonieorchester Stuttgart.

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    Label: BBC

    Release Date: 01 Jun 16

    Mendelssohn Symphony no.4, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

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    Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 3, Grieg: Piano Concerto

    Label: Decca

    Release Date: 05 May 10

    Julia Fischer; piano and violin, with the Junge Deutscher Philharmonie

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    Pintscher Flute Concerto

    Label: EMI Classics

    Release Date: 01 Apr 08

    Matthias Pintscher conducts Emanuel Pahud and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

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    Songs with Orchestra

    Label: Warner Classics

    Release Date: 30 Mar 05

    Songs by Berg, Strauss, Poulenc and Duparc.

    Sine Bundgaard, soprano; Danish Radio Sinfonietta

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    05 Mar 17 Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
    Köln Philharmonie

    Es folgte eine wiederum außerordentlich schlüssige, eindringliche, „natur-dramatische“, die einzelnen Klangfarben genau disponierende, große Zerklüftungen und Gefälle überlegen zur Einheit zwingende Interpretation von Mendelssohns Schottischer Sinfonie. Ein Beispiel: Die Wiederholung der Exposition im ersten Satz kann man genauso spielen lassen – als Eins-zu-eins-Wiederholung. Viele seiner Kollegen machen das so, Pintscher nicht: Verhalten, zögernd setzt das Da Capo ein, man hört auch die Klarinette stärker als zu Beginn – tastende Erinnerung an ein lange zurückliegendes Ereignis, die sich erst allmählich auffüllt. Wenn das nicht Romantik pur ist!
    Kölner Stadt Anzeiger


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    01 Dec 16 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Glasgow City Halls

    “Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead is a masterpiece, but one that can be elusive … Pintscher gave it shape, direction and climax: his sense of sway, mirrored in his physical movement, was magical, and the SSO, playing with dark atmosphere, lapping and slowly-swirling figures that sucked you into an inexorable whirlpool, never lost concentration for a second”.
    The Herald

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    21 Aug 16 BBC Proms 2016
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

    “And under Matthias Pintscher’s clear direction, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra played with glimmering colours and fairy grace”
    The Times

    “Highlights included the moonlit Nocturne, the troubled Intermezzo and the gossamer Scherzo, in all of which the players of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra shone under their artist-in-association, Matthias Pintscher.”
    The Guardian

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    13 Aug 16 Edinburgh International Festival 2016
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

    “…a very clever programme extraordinarily well performed…From an explosive demonstration of the Boulez soundworld, we were then led back to an exploration of its sources, as much in the range of orchestral colour as in compositional technique with the Three Pieces Opus 6 of Alban Berg (also a clear influence on Pintscher’s own music), and then a glorious reading of Debussy’s La Mer, before returning to Boulez, with Memoriale (…explosante-fixe…originel), an exquisite coda featuring guest principal flute Charlotte Ashton.”

    The Herald 

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    21 Mar 15 Boulez explosante-fixe
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

    “Pintscher’s conducting typically prioritised fluidity and sheen, and all praise to the deft clarity of the BBCSSO’s fearless players. It’s not easy to make Boulez sound this effortless.”
    The Guardian

Affiliated promoters

Matthias Pintscher holds a number of key positions with ensembles in Europe. He is in his fourth year as Music Director of Ensemble Intercontemporain, the contemporary music ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez; and has recently taken up the post of Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Acadamy; the educational programme devoted to new music and one of the premiere training programmes for today’s composers, conductors and musicians. He is also Artist in Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Pintscher is the inaugural composer in residence and featured artist at the new Elbphilhamornie in Hamburg with a series of 7 concerts featuring him conducting ensembles including the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Ensemble Intercontemporain, as well as performances of several of his own works and the premiere performance of his work for baritone and orchestra, to be performed by the NDR Hamburg, Bo Skovhus and Christoph Eschenbach

Matthias Pintscher is professor of composition at the Juilliard School.