Black and white headshot of Yoel Gamzou

Yoel Gamzou


Israeli-American conductor Yoel Gamzou starts the 2022/23 season by making his debut at the Hamburg State Opera conducting a new production of Carmen. Subsequent engagements this season will take him to Staatstheater Wiesbaden where he will conduct two symphonic concerts and a production of Carmen, to the Gothenburg Opera for Die schweigsame Frau, as well as to Bremen Philharmonic, Bern Symphony Orchestra and Copenhagen Philharmonic for concerts. Additionally, he will return to the Vienna State Opera for Die Fledermaus and Theater Bremen – where he was Generalmusikdirektor from the 2017/18 to 2021/22 seasons – for a production of Pique Dame.

During his time in Bremen, Gamzou led numerous critically acclaimed new productions including Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, Die Fledermaus, Die tote Stadt, L’Etoile, Der Rosenkavalier and Jenufa, as well as a revival of Carmen.

In the 2021/22 season he made a surprise and highly successful debut at the Vienna State Opera, jumping in to conduct Die tote Stadt. Elsewhere that season he made appearances at the Opéra de Paris, the Greek National Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at Naples’ Teatro San Carlo conducting Marina Abramovic’s 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, while he also returned to the Bavarian State Opera with Die tote Stadt. Further engagements last season include his debuts at the Opéra de Toulon with Die Fledermaus and at the Aalto Theater Essen with Der Freischütz, as well as concerts with the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Giuseppe Verdi Milano.

Some of Gamzou’s other recent engagements of note include his debut at the Bavarian State Opera in the 2020/21 season with Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna and Lehár’s Schön ist die Welt, as well as concert debuts with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Wiener Symphoniker and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Career Highlights

Gamzou is also Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the International Mahler Orchestra (IMO), an ensemble he founded in 2006. Prior to his appointment as General Music Director in Bremen, Gamzou stepped in on short-notice to conduct the Staatsorchester Kassel in Mahler’s 9th Symphony and was immediately invited to become the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, and later First Kapellmeister and deputy-General Music Director of the Staatstheater Kassel, a position he maintained until summer 2015. During his time in Kassel, he led a variety of acclaimed concerts and opera productions including Fidelio, Tosca, Rigoletto and Il Barbiere di Sivilgia.

As a guest conductor, Gamzou has worked with symphony orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurter Museumsorchester, Deutsches Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Hamburger Symphoniker, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Jena Philharmonie, Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg, Belgrade Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Israel Philharmonic among others.

Gamzou has had a special relationship with Gustav Mahler’s music from the time he was a small boy. He initially drew international attention at the International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition when, as a 19-year old, he was awarded the competition’s “Special Prize“. In 2010, Gamzou garnered further international recognition when his completion of Mahler’s unfinished 10th Symphony was premiered and published by Schott Music. Both the premiere in Berlin and the concert tour which followed in 2011 – with Gamzou conducting his IMO – were highly acclaimed by Mahler experts, the press, and audiences. A live-recording of the tour’s final concert at the Berlin Philharmonie was released on the WERGO label in Germany. Gamzou’s realization of Mahler’s 10th Symphony continues to be performed around the world, often with Gamzou himself conducting.

Gamzou is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including: the ECHO Klassik Award in the category emerging artist of the year “conductor” in November 2017; the prestigious “Princess Margriet Award” of the European Cultural Foundation in March 2013; and the Berenberg Culture Prize (Hamburg) in February 2012. The press have referred to him as a “breathtaking sensation” (Hamburger Abendblatt), an “unshakeable, radical, uncompromising, possessed genius” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), and as “outrageously talented” (Opernwelt).

Gamzou was born to an artistic family and grew up in New York, London and Tel Aviv. He had the honor of being Carlo Maria Giulini’s final student. 7 Deaths of Maria Callas will be his ENO debut.

Last updated: 25th October 2023