Germany's Theater Koblenz Appoints New Chief Conductor
German conductor Marcus Merkel will take up the post from the 2022/23 season onward
Currently the Kapellmeister at Opera Graz, Marcus Merkel founded the Junge Philharmonie Berlin in 2013. Merkel's initial contract in Koblenz takes him to the end of the 2024/25 season.
Merkel is also a pianist, singer, and composer — and the selection committee in Koblenz stressed that his ability to direct from the keyboard contributed greatly to his appeal. During the audition process, Merkel played fortepiano while conducting a production of Don Giovanni.
Additionally, Merkel plans to develop the theater's use of digital tools to bring opera to a wider audience, and also wants to strengthen and expand the theater's education and outreach programs. The theater describes the appointment as "future-oriented," and says that Merkel will be involved in all strategic decisions taken by the theater as soon as his tenure begins.
Merkel's first appearance in his new role will be in April of 2022 for a performance of Wagner's Parsifal.
"I'm looking forward to this exciting new chapter and can’t wait to work with amazing artists and the wonderful team in Koblenz," wrote Merkel on social media.