Stephan Zilias

General Music Director, Hannover State Opera

“Stephan Zilias is rightly celebrated for saving the premiere. The ovations for the whole cast knew no end.”
BR Klassik Radio, 29. 01. 2019

© Simon Pauly


Stephan Zilias is the General Music Director of the Hannover State Opera. 20/21 marks his inaugural season in the position, throughout which he will conduct productions of Carmen and Otello as well as subscription and special concerts.

Having spent two seasons as Kapellmeister and Assistant to Donald Runnicles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Stephan is now a close friend of the house and appears regularly as a guest conductor, this season includes an opera gala and Rienzi. Other recent guest appearances include Il barbiere di Siviglia at Oper Leipzig and Die Zauberflöte at Bregenz Festival. He was also due to appear at the Savonlinna Festival with Carmen and at the Royal Swedish Opera for Rigoletto before their postponements as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Equally at home on the symphonic podium, Stephan is a regular guest with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, with who he has conducted a number of symphonic performances and also takes an active role in their education and outreach programmes. Other symphonic engagements include concerts with the Hofer Symphoniker, Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse and most recently, performances of Dutilleux, Bartok and Schumann with the Hannover State Orchestra.

For more information, please contact Henry Lindsay. 



  • More info  
    29 Sep 20 Schubert, Ligeti, Beethoven Lower Saxony State Opera Orchestra Hannover

    The end of the Leonore Overture No. 3 under Zilias’ leadership became a lively, concise affair with a particularly brilliant final section. As an encore, the new General Music Director did not serve up a ‘well-known hit’ but again Ligeti, albeit an easily digestible work… Humour, multifacetedness and precision: if Zilias maintains this mix, Hannover can be happy.

    Die Leonoren-Ouvertüre Nr. 3 wurde zum Abschluss unter Zilias’ Stabführung zu einer lebendigen, bündigen Angelegenheit mit einem besonders fulminanten Schlussteil. Und als Zugabe servierte der neue Generalmusikdirektor keinen bekannten Hit, sondern noch einmal Ligeti, allerdings mit einem leichter verdaulichen Frühwerk: ‘Es ist auch nur kurz’, lautet die Ankündigung. ‘Gleich haben Sie’s geschafft.’ Humor, Facettenreichtum und Präzision: Sollte Zilias dieses Mischung aufrechterhalten, kann Hannover sich freuen.

    ★★★★★ Jörg Worat, Neue Presse, September 2020

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    24 Oct 20 Bizet CARMEN Hannover State Opera

    ‘The Lower Saxony State Orchestra of Hannover under it’s new General Music Director Stephan Zilias know how to play the wide arc between the well-known hits and the iridescent soundscapes of the new score with joy’

    ‘Das Niedersächsische Staatsorchester Hannover unter seinem neuen Generalmusikdirektor Stephan Zilias weiß den weiten Bogen zwischen den altbekannten Schlagern und den irisierenden Klangwelten der neuen Partitur mit viel Spielfreude auszuspielen.’

    Achim Dombrowski, O-Ton Online, 24 October 2020

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    29 Jan 19 Venera Gimadieva SONNAMBULA Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Zilias conducted the excellent Deutsche Oper Chorus, Orchestra and soloists with assurance and underscored the bel canto melodies for which Bellini is known.“

    Zenaida des Aubris, Bachtrack

    “Stephan Zilias is rightly celebrated for saving the premiere. The ovations for the whole cast knew no end.”

    BR Klassik Radio, 29 January 2019