Hailed as one of today’s most exciting young conductors, Karel Mark Chichon was described by the New York Times as “A conductor of genius” and continues to thrill international audiences with his temperament, passion and musicianship. In recognition to his services to music, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England made Chichon an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2012.
Born in London in 1971, Chichon hails from Gibraltar. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and was assistant conductor to Giuseppe Sinopoli and Valery Gergiev.
He has been Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern since 2011, enjoying critically acclaimed seasons and receiving praise for his profound interpretation of a wide repertoire and transformative music-making with the DRP. A further testament to his outstanding partnership with the DRP has been the unanimous critical success of the first album release of the complete orchestral works of Dvorák - an ambitious 9-CD project which he will record over the next four years for the record label Hänssler Classic. Critics said "Karel Mark Chichon scores significantly over several esteemed rivals" and praised this first release as “the finest version available”.
His previous positions include Chief Conductor & Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (2009-2012) and Chief Conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra (2006-2009).
In addition to his post with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Chichon regularly conducts in the finest opera houses in the world, such as the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerisches Staatsoper Munich, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and with the world's finest orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Wiener Symphoniker, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Russian National Orchestra.
His guest conducting engagements regularly take him to the most important cultural venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Munich Philharmonie, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Alter Oper Frankfurt, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid and Seoul Arts Center South Korea.
Future debuts include Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera New York where he is contracted to conduct thirteen performances and La Bohème at Teatro alla Scala Milan.
From 2006 to 2010 he was Music Director of the “Christmas in Vienna” concerts held yearly at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and broadcast on Television to millions of viewers all over the world.
He is also a regular Deutsche Grammophon recording artist, having recently recorded two CD’s for the renowned record label.