Johannes Debus Conductor

Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus graduated from the Hamburg Conservatoire before being engaged as répétiteur and, subsequently, Kapellmeister by Frankfurt Opera where he acquired an extensive repertoire from Mozart to Thomas Adès, and worked closely with such conductors as Paolo Carignani, Markus Stenz and Sebastian Weigle.

At home both in contemporary music and the core repertoire, he has conducted a wide range of world premières and works of the 20th and 21st century notably Salvatore Sciarrino’s Macbeth and Luciano Berio’s Un re in ascolto. He has cooperated with internationally acclaimed ensembles such as “Ensemble Intercontemporain”, “Ensemble Modern”, “Klangforum Wien” and “Musikfabrik”.

As a guest conductor he has appeared at several international festivals such as the Biennale di Venezia, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Lincoln Center Festival, Ruhrtriennale, Suntory Summer Festival and Spoleto Festival.

He conducts regulary at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin and Frankfurt Opera and has appeared in new productions at English National Opera and Opéra National de Lyon.

In 2008 Johannes Debus conducted Prokofiev’s War and Peace for Canadian Opera Company. Such was his success with the piece and rapport with the company that he was immediately offered the Music Directorship.

In 2010 Johannes Debus was invited to replace James Levine in a performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was subsequently invited to replace Sir Colin Davis in works by Mozart and Haydn in four subscription concerts marking his Symphony Hall debut. He made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival in the summer of 2012 and with the Toronto Symphony in January 2013.

Future productions for COC include Peter Grimes, Cosi fan Tutte and Massenet’s Don Quichotte. He returns to Frankfurt for The Adventures of Mr Broucek and Rusalka and will conduct the Orchestra della Toscana, Orchester Heidelberg and the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as conduct at the Luminato Festival.

In 2014/15 Johannes Debus will make his debut at the Bregenz Festival.


This biography is for website use only. For a full and updated biography, please email

Worldwide management

David Sigall

Nicki Wenham