And the 2015 Karajan Prize goes to …. a man called Thomas

And the 2015 Karajan Prize goes to …. a man called Thomas


norman lebrecht

March 17, 2015

Last year, the 50,000 Euro prize was awarded by the Baden-Baden Festpielhaus, amid expressions of mutual esteem, to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Ah wie schoen…

Before that, the prize went to Gruberova, Bartoli, Rilling, Barenboim, Quasthoff, Brendel… all the usual suspects.

This year, it’s a less familiar name.




Thomas Hengelbrock.

The violinist and conductor, 50, has confined his career to Austria and Germany. He has been a fixture at Baden-Baden with his Balthasar-Neumann chorus and ensemble and is presently music director of the NDR symphony orchetra.

Good to see a new name on the winners’ board.


  • Simon S. says:

    Well, less familiar for those who read yellow press only, though it might indeed be seen as ironic awarding the Karajan prize to the pioneer of Wagner on period instruments.

    Congratulations to Thomas!

  • harold braun says:

    Oh my goodness!

  • SDReader says:

    Great conductor! It’s about time we started recognizing some of these podium talents now in their 40s and 50s who missed the last great wave of publicity before the record company decline in the 1990s. (When the record companies woke up again, they wanted kids in their 20s and 30s.)

    • Hilary says:

      Thanks for that clarity. This means that the recording industry had a relatively short lifespan. Peak years being1950-1995. It was a nice period. I liked all those glossy DG catalogues…. Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown them away.

  • Manfred Gerber says:

    What does this mean, Harold Brown, th.h. Is an outstanding
    Conductor of his Generation. On the same level as manfred Honeck
    or Welser – Moest and a very few of his Generation.
    A very good choice of the Karajan foundation!!

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Thomas Hengelbrock is 56.