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OMER MEIR WELLBER

Conductor

Omer Meir Wellber was born in Be’er Sheva, Israel in 1981, and has now emerged on the international scene as one of the most outstanding young conductors. In recent seasons he has made successful debuts with a number of orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester and the Orchestra RAI Torino. He is a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, the Bavarian State Opera and at La Fenice Venice. Since 2009, he has been the Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, founded in 1991 to help aid the integration of Jewish immigrants in Israel.

Omer Meir Wellber will open season 2016/17 with a new production of Strauss’ Salome at the Semperoper Dresden. Further, he will have his debut with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich and the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra. He will conduct Wagner’s Tannhäuser in January 2017 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and in March 2017 the premiere of Giordano’s Andrea Chenier at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (director: Philipp Stölzl). In April 2017, he will attend the one-time Mozart Days at the Semperoper, conducting among others the Mozart-/Da Ponte-cycle Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. With the Staatskapelle Dresden he will also conduct the world premier of Sofia Gubaidulina’s oratorio About Love and Hate.

In season 2015/16 he conducted the opening premiere at the Bavarian State Opera with Boito’s Mefistofele, with René Pape as Mefistofele. In January 2016 he gave concerts with violinist Midori and the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Baden-Baden, Eindhoven and Dortmund. On the occasion of the residency of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, he lead all three of the orchestra’s concerts, e.g. Mahler’s 8th Symphony in the church Kreuzkirche in Dresden. In July 2016 he conducted once more Mefistofele at the Münchner Opernfestspiele with the Bavarian State Orchestra. This production will be released on DVD in 2017 (Unitel).

From 2010 to 2014, he held the position of Music Director at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia where he conducted various symphonic concerts as well as performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin that has been published on DVD by C Major, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, two works by de Falla – La vida breve and El amor brujo – and Verdi’s I due Foscari with Plácido Domingo. In June 2013, he conducted the jubilee performance of Aida with La Fura dels Baus in the Arena di Verona to great acclaim. A DVD of the production was released by BelAir classiques in 2014. His debut at the Semperoper Dresden with Strauss’ Daphne (2010) lead to a profound relationship with the opera house and the Staatskapelle Dresden: In 2014, Wellber conducted Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and a concert performance of Guntram and opened a Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy with Così fan tutte, staged by Andreas Kriegenburg. By the Vienna Festival he was entrusted with the direction of Verdi’s trilogia popolare, conducting Rigoletto (2011), La Traviata (2012) and Il Trovatore (2013). Besides his engagements at La Scala, the Teatro Massimo in Palermo or the Berliner Staatsoper, he conducted numerous symphony concerts with the Orchestre de Paris, the Filarmonica della Scala, the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover, and the hr-Sinfonieorchester in Frankfurt.

Between 2008 and 2010 he assisted Daniel Barenboim at the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden and at La Scala in Milan. To great public and critical acclaim he conducted Aida when La Scala performed at the Israeli Opera. This was followed by Bizet’s Carmen at the Staatsoper Berlin, his first concert at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, a concert at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Strauss’s Salome as stand-in for Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, a new production of Strauss’ Daphne received with great acclaim at the Semperoper in Dresden, Puccini’s Tosca at the Berliner Staatsoper, and symphony concerts in Verona and at La Fenice in Venice.

Since 2005 Wellber has regularly appeared at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, where he has conducted, among other works, Verdi’s La Traviata, La Forza del Destino, Puccini’s Turandot and Madama Butterfly, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and The Magic Flute, Boito’s Mefistofele, Gounod’s Faust and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. In February 2007, Wellber conducted a gala concert in Beijing with the city’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Shortly after that he made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This was followed in October 2008 by Verdi’s Aida at the Teatro Verdi in Padua, for which he was voted one of the new discoveries of the year by the Italian magazine Classic Voice.

Omer Meir Wellber commits himself to educational work with young musicians and has become a Good Will Ambassador for the non-profit organization Save a Child’s Heart in 2013. The Israeli-based international organization provides lifesaving cardiac surgery and treatment for children from developing countries and a training program for doctors and nurses from these countries.
He is further initiator and founding member of Sarab – Strings of change, a project that strives to introduce a life transforming music program where it is needed most: among the Bedouins of the Negev, one of the poorest and most discriminated groups within Israeli society.

Wellber began his musical training at the age of five on the accordion and piano. As he was also interested in composition, he took lessons from Tania Taler from the age of nine. After that he was taught by Michael Wolpe until 2004. He graduated from the Be’er Sheva conservatoire as early as 1999. Since then his works have been performed both in Israel and abroad, and broadcast on the radio. After graduating, Wellber took advantage of a scholarship from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation to continue his studies from 2000 to 2008. He did his BA under Eugene Zirlin at the Jerusalem Music Academy and his Master degree in Mendi Rodan's class.