Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Joana Mallwitz is the First Woman to Conduct at the Salzburg Festival

She made her debut conducting Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così fan tutte, which played August 2-18.

Joana Mallwitz is the First Woman to Conduct at the Salzburg Festival

This year marks the first time a woman has ever conducted an opera at the Salzburg Festival, in the festival's 100-year run.

Joana Mallwitz made her debut conducting Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così fan tutte, which played August 2-18.

Learn more about the production at

Joana Mallwitz is one of the leading conductors of her generation and was voted Conductor of the Year in Opernwelt's poll of critics in 2019. Since the 2018/19 season she has been general music director of the Nuremberg State Theatre.

Joana Mallwitz was born in Hildesheim in 1986 and studied at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover, where she was only thirteen when she was accepted into the Institute for the Early Advancement of the Musically Highly Gifted. She studied conducting with Martin Brauß and Eiji Oue and the piano with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Bernd Goetzke. In 2009 she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize (Encouragement Prize) of the State of Lower Saxony.

It was in 2014/15 that Joana Mallwitz took up her post at the Erfurt Theatre as the youngest general music director in Europe. In addition to conducting major new productions she also founded the Orchestral Academy of the Erfurt Philharmonic and established a composer-in-residence programme known as 'Erfurt's New Notes'. She also devised a highly successful series of Expedition Concerts, in which she took on the joint role of conductor and presenter, sitting at the piano and introducing audiences to symphonic works. She also took this format with her to her new artistic home, the Nuremberg State Theatre, where she conducted new productions of Prokofiev's War and Peace and Wagner's Lohengrin during her inaugural season. Both were unanimously praised in the national press and beyond. In 2018/19 she also made her debuts at the Bavarian State Opera in Eugene Onegin and L'elisir d'amore and at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo in Der Rosenkavalier.

Concert engagements have taken Joana Mallwitz to the Hesse Radio Symphony Orchestra in Frankfurt, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia in London, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Kremerata Baltica and the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen.

In 2019/20 Joana Mallwitz's conducting commitments in Nuremberg included a new production of Don Carlos, while in Frankfurt she conducted Barrie Kosky's new production of Salome. She is making her Salzburg Festival debut with Così fan tutte. She is the first woman in the history of the Festival to be invited to conduct an entire run of performances.

Related Articles View More Austria Stories

More Hot Stories For You