The German born Robin Engelen, since 2015 2nd Music Director of the Graz Opera, Austria, started his career as Chief Conductor of Klangwerk Orchestra in 1993-2003, where he conducted a broad variety of concerts, including a complete cycle of Beethoven and Brahms symphonies, and 20th century classics such as Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel and Shostakovich. As Assistant Conductor at the State Opera Stuttgart in 1999-2006, Mr Engelen has led acclaimed productions of operas by Mozart, Smetana, Prokoviev, Saint-Saens and Richard Wagner. Feruccio Busoni’s Doktor Faust won the Show of the Year Award by the German speaking magazine Opernwelt. In 2010-2013 he served as 2nd Music Director at the Opera Bonn, having conducted a broad operatic repertoire including works by Bizet, Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, Nicolai, Lortzing, Humperdinck, Délibes and again Mozart. In 2001 the Belgian ensemble Het Collectief appointed him Principal Guest Conductor.
Mr Engelen has worked with many fine ensembles in Europe and the world, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and Stuttgart Philharmonic, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony (RSB), Dusseldorf Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic, as well as the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Prometheus Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic. Among the orchestras he has led are the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Westfälische Philharmonie Recklinghausen, State Orchestra Halle, Norddeutsche Philharmonie, Philharmonic Altenburg-Gera, Belgian ensemble I solisti del Vento and Orchestra Sinfonica di San Remo. Festivals he has visited include Oregon Bach Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Korean Music Festival Tongyeong, Ars Musica Belgium, Festival van Vlaanderen, Operadaagen Rotterdam, Festival de Saintes, Festival Crete Senesi, WestfalenClassics, Rheingau, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Salzburg, and Bregenz.
His interest in early music saw him conducting the C. P. E. Bach Chamber Orchestra Berlin, Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei and Gotha Baroque Festival Orchestra in Europe’s oldest exsisting theatre. As frequent guest of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra he has conducted tours through Korea, Italy and Turkey. Through his broad repertoire dating from XVIIth to XXIst century, Mr Engelen is also a frequent supporter of contemporary music, having constantly collaborated with renowned composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Wolfgang Rihm, Peter Eötvös, Helmut Lachenmann, Toshio Hosokawa, Mauricio Kagel, Judith Weir, Sally Beamish and Frank Michael Beyer. His recording of saxophone concertos by Beamish, Steven Stucky and Chen Yi was published at BIS. With Helmuth Rilling as partner he conducted a widely acclaimed recording of Britten’s War Requiem with Annette Dasch, James Taylor and Christian Gerhaher as soloists.
As pianist and harpsichordist Mr Engelen worked together with a variety of singers and instrumentalists, notably Annette Dasch, Helene Schneiderman, Catriona Smith, Mirella Hagen, Markus Butter, Melanie Diener, Michael Volle, Gernot Suessmuth, Friedemann Eichhorn, Gaby Pas-van Riet, Quirine Viersen. He appeared as jazz pianist and arranger at the Oregon Bach Festival and the Vladivostok Jazz Festival and performed with the famous Argentinian tango orchestra Sexteto Mayor.
A notable opera conductor too, Mr Engelen appeared in various opera houses in Berlin (Komische Oper), Paris (Garnier), Mannheim, Antwerpen, Leipzig, Kassel, Essen, Rostock, Palermo, Yakutsk and Seoul. For his opera productions he collaborated with prestigious stage directors as Graham Vick, Peter Konwitschny, Jossi Wieler, Andrea Breth, Dietrich Hilsdorf, Philippe Arlaud, Philipp Himmelmann, Johanna Schall and Florian Lutz. In 2009-2014, with the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, he served as Music Director of the Mozart Opera Festival in Vladivostok, conducting a cycle of operas including The Magic Flute, Figaro, Don Giovanni and a shortened version of The Flying Dutchman. In 1997 he conducted the première of Peter Eötvös’ Radames for the inaugural season of the Center for Media Technology ZKM Karlsruhe. In 2005 he was invited to lead the opening gala for the Year of Japanese-German Cooperation in presence of both country’s presidents. In 2010 Mr Engelen together with Het Collectief was named artist in residence of Belgian concert hall deSingel, Antwerp. Having previously been musical assistant to conductors such as Thomas Hengelbrock, Gennadi Roshdestvensky, Lothar Zagrosek, Philippe Auguin and Stefan Soltesz, he was assisting Marek Janowski for the widely acclaimed performance and recording cycle of Richard Wagner’s complete stage work in 2010-2013. His discography includes a recording of Pierrot lunaire, which won the Diapason d’Or. In 2013 Mr Engelen also won the prestigious ECHO Klassik.
Since fall 2018 the Royal Conservatory of Brussels named him professor for orchestral conducting.