Christoph Altstaedt is dedicated to bringing music to the widest possible public. He has pioneered new concert formats, often involving experimental theatre and featuring repertoire from baroque music on original instruments through to electronic music and Hip-Hop. As an orchestra founder, music educator and radio presenter, he has managed to build meaningful bridges with many audiences.
As a junior student Christoph Altstaedt studied piano and conducting at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and received piano lessons from Prof Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hannover. Later on he studied piano with Prof Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. In 2002 he moved to the Musikhochschule »Hanns Eisler« in Berlin. There, his teachers were Prof Hans-Dieter Baum and Prof Alexander Vitlin. In 2003, he got a scholarship from the Conductors Forum of the Deutsche Musikrat and attended Master Classes with Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, Sebastian Weigle, Johannes Kalitzke and Jorma Panula. In 2008 and 2009, he was invited to Tanglewood as assistant of James Levine in a new production of »Don Giovanni«.
While still a student, he founded the Junges Klangforum Mitte Europa, uniting music students from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Under the patronage of Richard von Weizsäcker, Lech Wałesa and Václav Havel, the youth orchestra performed at historically meaningful sites such as Theresienstadt/Terezín and Kreisau/Kryżowa, but also toured as far afield as Japan. The orchestra won multiple awards, including the Praemium Imperiale of the Japan Art Association and the Zeit Foundation’s Marion Dönhoff Award for International Understanding and Reconciliation.
Thereafter, Christoph Altstaedt followed the classical path of Repetiteur and Kapellmeister at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg. He has made guest appearances at the Zurich Opera, the Basel Theatre, the Komische Oper Berlin and the festivals in Salzburg and Savonlinna. He works regularly with the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, the Opera North in Leeds and the Glyndebourne Festival.
On the concert podium, he has conducted the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Ulster Orchestra Belfast, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the German Radio Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, the Ensemble Resonanz, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
His commitment to working with young musicians led Christoph Altstaedt to State Youth Orchestras of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Saxony and the Saarland, the music academy orchestras in Lübeck and Graz and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. Together with the German National Youth Orchestra, he is currently developing a project dedicated to Beethoven’s deafness.
Alongside new opera formats, Christoph Altstaedt also develops programmes for opera galas or New Year’s concerts – which he moderates himself. He has presented such concerts at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra Belfast. Several times, he has been the featured artist on the WDR radio station’s feature »Werkbetrachtungen«.
In September 2021, Christoph Altstaedt makes his debut at the Vienna Volksoper with Johannes Brahms’ »Ein Deutsches Requiem« choreographed by Martin Schläpfer.