Michael Hoftstetter has been Principal Conductor of the choir and orchestra of the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele since 2005. Born in Munich, he began his career at theatres in Wiesbaden as conductor and Giessen as general music director. In recent years he has made a name for himself as a Baroque specialist and expert in authentic performance practice with operas such as Händel's Alcina and Giulio Cesare in Egitto with the director Herbert Wernicke. Yet Hofstetter's eclectic repertoire is broader even than that: he received several nominations in the conductor of the year category in the annual survey of critics by the specialist magazine Opernwelt for his direction of the new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Opernhaus Dortmund in 2000. His fondness and commitment to operettas was recognised when he was awarded the Robert-Stolz-Medaille; in May 2008 he was moreover the first recipient of the Horst-Stein-Preis. Michael Hofstetter, who has also been Principal Conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra since 2006, has given guest performances at many distinguished opera houses, orchestras and festivals, including the Hamburg and Bavarian State Operas, the State Theatre Stuttgart, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Welsh National Opera, Cardiff, as well as the Salzburg Festspiele and the Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe. In autumn 2008, he made his début in the United States with a production of Berlioz's opera Béatrice et Bénédict at the Houston Grand Opera, Texas.
Michael Hofstetter's recordings of Schlossfestspiele and opera productions, which have appeared under the OehmsClassics label, have received high acclaim from the press. Further prize-winning CD and DVD recordings by the conductor have appeared under the cpo, Virgin Classics, Berlijn Classics, arthaus, Sony and Deutsche Grammophon labels. His recording of arias and overtures by Rossini was recognised by the French Académie du Disque Lyrique in the "Best Album" category, and also won the Prix France Culture-Télérama.
(Photograph: Patrick Sheedy)