First Kapellmeister at the Meininger Staatstheater
General Music Director at the Theater Erfurt
Charismatic Malaysian-born conductor Harish Shankar enjoys an ever-increasing global presence on the podium. From season 2019/20 he is First Kapellmeister at the Meininger Staatstheater and General Music Director at the Theater Erfurt, in Germany. Previously held positions including First Kapellmeister at the Theater & Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern and and Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hailed for his finely-honed skill and passionate conducting, Mr Shankar was a prize winner of the 2015 International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition. Recently, Harish made his debuts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North as well as the Orchestra of the Landestheater Coburg, where he also conducted Bizet’s Carmen.
Highlights from last seasons also included his orchestra debuts with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the UK, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. He also conducted Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Theater Aachen, Bizet’s Carmen at the Meininger Staatstheater, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatzin Munich and La Boheme at the Stadttheater Bremerhaven.
Harish also conducted the closing concert of the 2017 Cantiere International Arts Festival in Montepulciano and performances in Kuala Lumpur with both the Malaysian Philharmonic and Malaysian Youth Philharmonic orchestras. Further appearances include Manchester Camerata, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philharmonic, Jena Philharmonie, Staatsphilharmonie Braunschweig, Orquesta Sinfónica de Trujillo, Vaasa City Orchestra and Jyväskylä Sinfonia.
As assistant conductor he has worked closely with some renowned conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Vasily Petrenko, Eckehard Stier and Juanjo Mena and collaborated with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Auckland Philharmonia orchestras.
After graduating in conducting from the prestigious Weimar Conservatoire in Germany (under the tutelage of Professor Gunter Kahlert), Harish Shankar also received mentorship from Paavo Järvi, Clark Rundell and Mark Heron with masterclasses from Nicolás Pasquet, Leonid Grin and Mark Stringer.
As a strong believer in music education, his early studies with Maestro Eiji Oue in Hannover, subsequently led to an invitation to lead the orchestra of the award-winning El Sistema project in Peru. During his tenure with El Sistema, he conducted regular and cross-over projects with the aim to engage a growing classical music scene and to bring together children from all walks of life through music.