At the age of 26 Valentin Egel became chief conductor and musical director of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. There, he debuted with operas including Tristan und Isolde, Erwartung, Aida, La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana, Madama Butterfly, Die Zauberflöte, and Carmen amongst others, as well as taking leading the development of the celebrated and versatile cycle of symphonic concerts give by the Rijeka Symphonic Orchestra.
He was the winner of the Lovro von Matacic competition in Zagreb, as well as winning the German competition of Music academies Campus Dirigieren, the MDR conducting competition in Leipzig, and being part of the German Music Council’s artists list ‘Maestros von Morgen’. He has been promoted by the German Conductor’s Forum and was nominated for the German Conductor’s Award.
Stemming from a musical family, he learned the piano at a very early age, took violin lessons and sang in the Boys-Choir of the Freiburg Cathedral. During his time as a student at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar he was chief conductor of various student orchestras and was, several times, granted a Charlotte Krupp scholarship, as well as a Richard Wagner Scholarship. His education was enriched by an exchange-program with the Jacob’s School of Music in Bloomington, USA, as well as in masterclasses with conductors such as Peter Gülke, Arthur Fagen, Gabriel Feltz and Teodor Currentzis. He has also worked as an assistant to Lothar Zagrosek and Zubin Mehta.
His vivid concert work as a guest conductor includes collaborations with the MDR Sinfonieorchester, the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, the Bremer Philharmoniker the Nürnberger and Brandenburger Symphoniker, the Radio-Television Zagreb, the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Belgrade Philharmonic. He has collaborated with many celebrated musicians including Bruno Delepelaire, Fabrice Millischer, Reinhold Friedrich and Maida Hundeling, and was guest conductor at international festivals in Croatia, Germany and Finland, as well as several radio and television recordings.
Photo (c) Dražen Šokčević