The conductor Michael Koehler was born in the musical city of Dresden, Germany. After spending his early years in Dresden as solo pianist, he studied sound engineering and orchestra conducting in Berlin, Munich and Paris. After his graduation from the Berlin University of Music (class of GMD Prof. Rolf Reuter, Berlin State Opera) he continued his studies with Maestro Sergiu Celibidache in Munich and at the Schola Cantorum in Paris.

He participated at festivals in Berlin, New York, Copenhagen and Latin America, as well as in master-classes with Kurt Masur, Gerd Albrecht,  and Rolf Reuter, and at the Yehudi-Menuhin-Academy, Gstaad among others.

Michael Koehler wrote his thesis in musicology at the Humboldt  University of Berlin about the earlier operas of Richard Strauss. In  2000 he was conferred the title of Doctor Philosophiae.

He has conducted numerous orchestras across in Europe, Asia (China,  South Korea, India) and Latin America. Equally at home with theatre, he has conducted several operas (primarily in Germany), including Carmen by George Bizet, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria by Claudio Monteverdi and The Meistersinger of Nuremberg by Richard Wagner (directed by August Everding).

As the artistic director and music director of the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra since 2000, he has presented a series of brilliant concerts and the public have been drawn by his imagination and innovativeness. In 2008, he was chosen as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the West Saxonian State Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his performing career, he dedicates a part of his time to teaching. Since 1998, he has been working at the Leipzig University of Music and Drama „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“ as Lecturer and Orchestra Conductor. Here, he collaborated with Kurt Masur, University of Music and Gewandhaus Leipzig, Herbert Blomstedt (First Symphony by Schumann), Fabio Luisi (Inauguaration of the Concert Hall with a monumental performance of Mahler’s First Symphony) and Daniel Harding. He works with young singers and instrumentalists in ensemble lessons; he conducts seminars for orchestra playing; he works with young conductors in orchestra conducting and score playing. He enjoys sharing his passion and experience in music.

Owing to his deep interest in ballet, he has conducted several ballet works such as Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. In 1994, he made his debut at the famous „Berliner Philharmonie“ with compositions by Pfitzner, Mahler and Tchaikovsky. Following his music education, he published essays and academic papers about Richard Strauss and Claudio Monteverdi. He was the advisor to Semyon Bychkov regarding the original scores by Richard Strauss.

Apart from his musical career, he participates in social service activities of Rotary International in Leipzig.



„...the classical spirit in a night      of lilting Western Classical music, tuned to German perfection.“