Michael Balke received a full scholarship from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he studied piano under Frank Weinstock and conducting under Christopher Zimmerman and finished in 2001 with highest distinction. During this time he worked regularly with the members of the LaSalle Quartet, Peter Oundjian and the Tokyo String Quartet as well as Donna Loewy and Kenneth Griffiths (vocal coaching). From 2001 to 2005 he continued his studies in Luebeck, Germany with James Tocco.
He conducted his first opera "L'incoronazione di Poppea" by Monteverdi at the age of 19 in Cincinnati (CCM). As a conductor he has since worked in Germany, France, Hungary and China. Among the productions he has led there have been Mozart's "Magic Flute", Humperdinck's "Haensel und Gretel", Lortzing's "Zar und Zimmerman", Tchaikovsky's "Eugen Onegin", Mozart's "Magic Flute", "Le nozze di Figaro", "Cosi fan tutte", Rossinis "Cenerentola" and Paisiellos "Barbier von Sevilla". Michael Balke won numerous prizes and awards in Germany and the USA (Richard-Wagner-Foundation, Hermann-Haake Stiftung, Jeunesses Musicales, etc.). Also as a pianist he has played regular concerts as soloist, chamber musician (e.g. Rheingau Festival, pianist of the Brunsvik Trio) and accompanist (with New York soprano Theresa Santiago among others).
Several of his concerts were recorded on radio (SWR, NDR, WGUC) and CD (e.g. production with mezzo-soprano Jale Papila on Genuin).
Until 2006 he has served as conductor and assistant Musical Director of the Hamburg Chamber Opera preparing and leading more than 70 performances there. He has gained further experience as pianist at the Staatsoper Hamburg and Staatstheater Braunschweig as well as musical assistant of György Rath at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and at the Orchestra Regione della Toscana (ORT) in Florence. In 2006/07 he worked at the Oper Bonn and was invited as guest conductor by the Budapest Concert Orchestra. Since 2005 he has been Artistic Director of the Hamburg Opernsalon. To celebrate the 10th Opernsalon he lead an operagala with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra in February 2007.
The Artist's Homepage: http://www.michaelbalke.com
Wiener Spätromantik - Late Viennese Romanticism
Lieder by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg and Richard Strauss
Jale Papila, alto - Michael Balke, piano