Christoph Altstaedt is dedicated to bringing music to the widest possible public. He has pioneered new concert formats, often involving experimental theatre and featuring repertoire from baroque music on original instruments through to electronic music and Hip-Hop. As an orchestra founder, music educator and radio presenter, he has managed to build meaningful bridges with many audiences.
As a junior student Christoph Altstaedt studied piano and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and received piano lessons from Prof Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hannover. Later on he studied piano with Prof Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. In 2002 he moved to the Musikhochschule »Hanns Eisler« in Berlin. There, his teachers were Prof Hans-Dieter Baum and Prof Alexander Vitlin. In 2003, he got a scholarship from the Conductors Forum of the Deutsche Musikrat and attended Master Classes with Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Sebastian Weigle, Johannes Kalitzke and Jorma Panula. In 2008 and 2009, he was invited to Tanglewood as assistant of James Levine in a new production of Don Giovanni.
While still a student, he founded the Junges Klangforum Mitte Europa, uniting music students from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Under the patronage of Richard von Weizsäcker, Lech Wałesa and Václav Havel, the youth orchestra performed at historically meaningful sites such as Theresienstadt/Terezín and Kreisau/Kryżowa, but also toured as far afield as Japan. The orchestra won multiple awards, including the Praemium Imperiale of the Japan Art Association and the ZEIT Foundation’s Marion Dönhoff Award for International Understanding and Reconciliation.
Thereafter, Christoph Altstaedt followed the classical path of Repetiteur and Kapellmeister at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg. He has made guest appearances at the Zurich Opera, the Basel Theatre, the Komische Oper Berlin and the festivals in Salzburg and Savonlinna. He works regularly with the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, the Opera North in Leeds and the Glyndebourne Festival.
On the concert podium, he has conducted the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Ulster Orchestra Belfast, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the German Radio Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the Ensemble Resonanz, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
His recent highlights have included Händel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall, a Beethoven programme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, several coverts with the Gürzenich Orchestra at the Cologne Philharmonie, a Beethoven project entitled Zusammen(ge)hören with the Bundesjugendorchester and hearing-impaired people at the Berlin Philharmonie, and a new production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Cologne Opera.
In the 2021/22 season, Christoph Altstaedt conducted the premiere series of Martin Schläpfer’s Ein Deutsches Requiem to Brahms’ composition at the Volksoper Wien. In June 2023, Christoph Altstaedt will make his debut at the Vienna State Opera conducting Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten.