Germany appoints youngest GMD, just 24

Germany appoints youngest GMD, just 24


norman lebrecht

July 03, 2020

Wuppertal has just named the Austrian Patrick Hahn as General Music Director of its opera and orchestra. He’s 24 and he starts work a year from now.


The agent is Jasper Parrott.



  • Novagerio says:

    Well, good luck! Now, he’ll have to learn about 20 annual operas and ballets…was he eight when he started as Korrepetitor, or did that concept expire with the increasing power of certain lobbies? (Rhetorical question!!)

  • Angela Wallwitz says:

    Look At Patrick in youtube conducting the Feilitzsch Apokalypse in the Herkulessaal in 2018. Even then he mastered the most difficult score with ease and deprh.

  • BerlinMusic says:

    Absolutely ridicolous!! One day – let us hope – this “Wunderkind” mentality will have an end! No matter how much talent – no one should lead an opera house at age 24 without having worked in the system for 5 – 10 years.
    Why do people still fall for this “Youngest GMD …” hype?? 🙁

    • George says:

      Have you ever considered that this was a democratic decision by the musicians themselves, choosing him over more ‘experienced’ conductors, rather than a publicity stunt by higher-ups?

    • Giancarlo Rossi says:

      He started as a repetiteur way more than 10 years ago, Mr/Ms BerlinMusic.

      LOL who DOESN’T live/work in Berlin these days? Feeling a bit sidelined perhaps?

    • aga says:

      ever heard of W.A.Mozart? Maybe the same doubters said a 9 year old can’t compose.

      • Thetruthbetold says:

        Aga, you are mistaken. Yes, WAM was a precocious children, but remember: Wunderkind are precocious, just that. We judge their genious for their adult work (as performers or composers). So, yes, Mozart was a child genious, but we rarely performed any Mozart’s pieces written before he was 17-18.

  • IntBaritone says:

    That’s one way to save money….

  • Bibiana says:

    God bless him. I am so proud of today’s young people.

  • From the inside says:

    This conducting business seems to be totally controlled by certain agencies, and decisions on GMD-positions are being done mostly on agency basis.

    For instance, I know two completely experienced and excellent opera conducting professionals, with an extensive CV and huge repertoire in opera, partnerships with top level singers and directors, having applied to this position in Wuppertal. Opera professionals, to whom this young kid Patrick Hahn couldn’t be compared to even closely by skill and experience.

    They haven’t been even notified about the process. ”Thank you for your application, we’ll be back in touch with you.” has so far been the only message from Wuppertal. News are available here.

    Sad to see how this art form is developing at the moment.

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Of course! There is so much corruption in music you would not believe it… and agencies are at the core of it.

      They control EVERYTHING: new MD hirings, soloists hirings, complete “packages” for operas (if you want the super-star you have to hire almost the entire cast from them, or the house has to include in another opera another of their lesser-known singers), guest conductors, tours, and winners of competitions.

      I have witnessed it, suffered it, heard about it from colleagues…