Biography

In few years of professional career the German-Brazilian conductor Tobias Volkmann has led more than 30 orchestras having also held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Theatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, one of South Americas main opera houses, and Principal Guest of the National Symphony Orchestra UFF.

Prizewinner of the Jorma Panula International Conducting Competition 2012 and Audience Favorite at the Musical Olympus Festival 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Tobias Volkmann is one of the most prominent musicians of his generation in Brazil. Based on a solid technique, charisma and sophistication, his interpretations both in the opera theater and in the concert hall have been praised for a fine stylistic sense combined with a cultivated creativity. His wide repertoire ranges from the music of the 18th century to the challenging works of our time, naturally including the great works of the Romantic era and the main repertoire of the 20th century.

Volkmann had his debut at the Gewandhaus Leipzig as a guest of the MDR Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra in 2015. In a short period of time he has been invited to conduct a great number of European and South American orchestras such as the Porto Symphony Orchestra Casa da Música (Portugal), State Hermitage Symphony Orchestra and Saint Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Brandenburg Symphony (Germany), Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), SODRE Symphony Orchestra (Uruguay), National Symphony Orchestra of Chile, National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, UNCuyo Symphony Orchestra of Mendoza (Argentina), Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Minas Gerais Philharmonic, São Paulo University Symphony Orchestra, Porto Alegre Symphony, Paraná Symphony Orchestra and the Petrobras Symphony Orchestra (Brazil).

At Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro Volkmann dedicated himself specially to opera, the great choral-symphonic repertoire and ballet, being praised both by audience and critic. Recent highlights were Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Mahler’s Ressurection Symphony, chosen by the press one of the best concerts in 2018. The same acclaim received Le nozze di Figaro and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in previous years. With the theater’s ballet company Volkmann developed a special identification being responsible for the music direction of La bayadère, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Sheherazade, Uwe Scholz’s Dance Apotheosis on Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Amazon Trilogy, a new ballet on Villa-Lobos’ great works for the genre.

With the National Symphony Orchestra UFF (Brazil’s former Radio Symphony Orchestra) Volkmann has performed mostly music of the 20th and 21st century with a particular focus on the Brazilian repertoire. Resuming the initial vocation of the orchestra Volkmann and OSN have recorded yearly CDs dedicated to Brazilian new music. His discography includes also a CD of Brazilian music for jazz harp and orchestra with Cristina Braga and the Brandenburg Symphony.

Always involved with new music, Tobias Volkmann has premiered more than twenty works in Brazil, USA, Russia, Germany and Argentina. The accompaniment of silent movies completes the wide spectrum of his artistic activity, in which Metropolis (Fritz Lang/Gottfried Huppertz), The Kid (Charles Chaplin) and Nosferatu (Friedrich Murnau/Pierre Oser) were great successes.

Volkmann studied voice and conducting at the State University of Rio de Janeiro and earned his Masters degree at the Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh in the class of Ronald Zollman. He continued his studies with great masters in international masterclasses, having been mentored by Kurt Masur and Jorma Panula.