The Dutch conductor Michael Engelbrecht was first prize winner at the 'Blue Danube/Béla Bartók International Opera Conducting Competition' in June 2021. The only major international conducting competition that focuses exclusively on opera. The programme included four complete operas: Mozart's Don Giovanni, Bizet's Carmen, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle. Mr. Engelbrecht will debut with several opera houses and orchestras in Europe in 2022/2023, 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 members of the MÁV Budapest Symphony Orchestra acted as a jury and elected him as the winner.
Mr. Engelbrecht is currently chief conductor of Philharmonie Gelre in Arnhem, the Netherlands. As a guest conductor he conducted, among others, the State Opera Stara Zagora in Bulgaria with Verdi’s ‘Un ballo in maschera’, the MÁV Budapest Symphony Orchestra with Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, the Eindhoven Symphony Orchestra with Francis Poulenc’s ‘L’histoire de babar’, Neos Brass Amsterdam with Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and also music by Shostakovich at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam and the Dutch National Student Orchestra during their tour in Croatia, with Glazunov’s Violin Concerto with soloist Esther Yoo, Gustav Mahler’s 1st Symphony and a new modern work by Duch composer Mayke Nas. He also conducted concerts of the Philips Symphonic Wind Orchestra during their tour in China in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Mr. Engelbrecht attended masterclasses and lessons with: Jan Cober, Ivan Meylemans, Marien van Staalen, Ilona Meskó, 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 (considered at the time as one of the best professional wind orchestras worldwide). He won first prize at 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 Amsterdam, The Hague Philharmonic (Residentie Orkest) and the Aachen Symphony Orchestra. He collaborated with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Ingo Metzmacher, Marc Albrecht and Sir George Benjamin at many concerts in the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, ‘de Doelen’ Rotterdam and the Dutch National Opera Amsterdam. He also performed as a soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician.
Since winning first prize at the 'Blue Danube/Béla Bartók International Opera Conducting Competition', Michael Engelbrecht has focused exclusively on his conducting career.