The German conductor, Max Pommer, studied piano and conducting at the Leipzig College of Music as well as musicology at the city's University. Subsequently, he spent some time as a pupil of Herbert von Karajan. In 1968 he obtained a Ph.D.
In 1974 Max Pommer took charge of the Leipziger Universitätschor, being appointed music director the following year. Together with members of Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, he founded the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum in 1978 with the aim of performing Baroque music, specially cantatas and choral works of J.S. Bach. His international breakthrough as a conductor came with this ensemble, which he brought to international recognition from 1978 to 1987. The recordings made by this ensemble received international awards (including the "Deutscher Schallplattenpreis" for J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos) and were well known in Europe and the USA long before the reunification of Germany.
From 1987 to 1991, he was principal conductor of the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra (MDR Sinfonieorchester), and he still collaborates with the MDR (Radio Saxony) in concerts and productions. Since 1990 he has been professor of orchestral directing and conducting at the Saarland Academy of Music. Here he founded the "Saar-Lor-Lux Orchestra", which brings together annually music students from Metz, Nancy, Luxembourg and Saarbrücken. His artistic contribution to European unification has already been highly commended: "His ensemble showed flawless technical mastery of the material, and the conductor's gestures, both functional and evocative, did the rest. We experienced a rousing concert of the highest quality." (Luxemburger Wort), and "Saar-Lor-Lux –orchestra de luxe" (Est-Republicain, Nancy).
In wide demand as a guest conductor, Max Pommer works regularly with orchestras such as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden & Freiburg and others in Germany. He first conducted the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival in 1991, and has since given concerts with them in Spain and on a very successful tour of North America.
Max Pommer has been closely connected with the Hamburg Camerata – one of the excellent Hamburg ensembles – since 1991. Apart from a regular concert series with them, he has guested with them at festivals including Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg and MDR Musiksommer. Since 2000 he has been first regular guest conductor of the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest.
The list of Max Pommer's CD recordings is long and varied: 22 recordings for Capriccio with orchestral works by J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel and Debussy, Symphonies and early operas by Mozart for Berlin Classics, the complete symphonic works of the Finnish composer Rautavaara and works by Kurt Weill for the Finnish label Ondine - not to forget many works by Hanns Eisler, Paul Dessau, Arnold Schoenberg and other contemporary German composers for