"Jun Märkl’s outstanding Debussy series makes every piece sound like one of the most cherishable masterworks in the repertoire. All five previous volumes in this Naxos Debussy series are must-haves."Classic FM, 5 stars, July 2011
Jun Märkl conducts the world’s leading orchestras, such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. He has long been a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen. Jun is Invited Professor at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo.
He was Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon from 2005-11 and of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig until 2012. In recognition of his tenure in Lyon and his hugely successful nine-disc Debussy cycle with the orchestra on Naxos, in 2012 he was honoured by the French Ministry of Culture with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He also toured with the orchestra to Japan and major European halls and festivals such as the Salle Pleyel, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, BBC Proms, Bad Kissingen, Rheingau and Lucerne. With MDR he toured to Spain and the Baltics, made regular appearances in the Berlin Konzerthaus and Cologne Philharmonie, and conducted Schumann’s rarely-heard opera Genoveva at the Rotterdam Opera Festival.
Märkl’s busy European guesting schedule is complemented by regular relationships with the leading North American orchestras where he returns for several weeks every season. He is also a frequent guest in Japan; alongside his regular visits to the NHK Symphony Orchestra, he guests at the Pacific Music Festival Sapporo and with the Mito Chamber Orchestra, and teaches at the Kunitachi Music Conservatoire.
Märkl has conducted for many years at the state operas of Vienna, Munich and Semperoper Dresden, and was until 2006 Permanent Conductor of the Bavarian State Opera. He made his Royal Opera House, London, debut with Götterdämmerung in 1996 and at the Metropolitan Opera with Il Trovatore in 1998, has conducted complete Ring Cycles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the New National Theatre Tokyo, and toured to Japan in 2007 with the Semperoper Dresden (Tannhäuser). In 2014 he conducts Fidelio at the Hamburg State Opera.
Märkl has recorded Mahler and the complete Schumann symphonies live with the NHK Symphony for EXTON Records and Dvořák on Telarc with the Indianapolis Symphony. Whilst in Lyon he made live recordings for Altus of Strauss, Beethoven and Mahler to complement his Naxos discs of Debussy, Messiaen and Hosokawa. With MDR Symphony he recorded Brahms symphonies (live on Altus) and Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang for Naxos.
Born in Munich, his (German) father was a distinguished Concertmaster and his (Japanese) mother a solo pianist. Märkl studied violin, piano and conducting at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, going on to study with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich and with Gustav Meier in Michigan. In 1986 he won the conducting competition of the Deutsche Musikrat and a year later won a scholarship from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to study at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Soon afterwards he had a string of appointments in European opera houses followed by his first music directorships at the Staatstheater in Saarbrücken (1991-94) and at the Mannheim Nationaltheater (1994-2000).