Michael Engelbrecht was first prize winner at the 'Blue Danube / Béla Bartók International Opera Conducting Competition' in June 2021. The program included four complete operas: Mozart's Don Giovanni, Bizet's Carmen, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle. Mr. Engelbrecht will debut with several opera houses and orchestras in Europe over the next two seasons, among others with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, the State Opera Kosice, Slovakia and the State Opera Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
Mr. Engelbrecht was also first prize winner at the Budapest International Masterclass & Competition for Orchestral Conducting, where the MÁV Budapest Symphony Orchestra members elected him as the winner.
Mr. Engelbrecht is currently chief conductor of Philharmonie Gelre in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He is also regularly invited to appear as a guest conductor. It was in this capacity that he conducted among others the Eindhoven Symphony Orchestra, the professional Neos Brass ensemble Amsterdam and the Dutch National Student Orchestra during a concert in Croatia, where the program included the Glazunov Violin Concerto with soloist Esther Yoo and Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony. Mr. Engelbrecht attended conducting masterclasses and lessons with, among others: Jan Cober, Ivan Meylemans, Marien van Staalen, Ilona Meskó and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Mr. Engelbrecht began his professional musical career at age 17 as a euphonium player in the 'Royal Dutch Military Band' in The Hague. He also won the prestigious ‘Concours Mondial de Tuba et Euphonium’ in Guebwiller, France while still at a very young age. He completed his euphonium and conducting studies with distinction at the Tilburg and Maastricht conservatory. Mr. Engelbrecht performed among others with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ballet Orchestra, The Hague Philharmonic and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra. He collaborated with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Ingo Metzmacher, Marc Albrecht and Sir George Benjamin. He also performed as a soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician.