Conductor, soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue: in the international musical world Christoph Poppen has made a name for himself in diverse forms, winning many awards. Christoph Poppen has drawn attention to himself through his creative artistry and his comprehensive commitment to contemporary music. As an artistic director he exemplifies perceptive programming and innovative ideas; as a soloist and conductor persuasive conveyance of musical visions.
Christoph Poppen initially assumed the artistic direction of the Detmolder Kammerorchester from 1988 to 1995, securing the same position with the Münchener Kammerorchester in 1995, which he endowed with a new profile within a short period of time. His unmistakable programming, which is based on a contrast of the classical and the contemporary and includes a wealth of commissioned works, has found international resonance.
Also a frequent guest with various orchestras, Christoph Poppen has appeared with such orchestras as the Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Radio Philharmonie of NDR Hannover, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, and Radio Chamber Orchestra Hilversum. His guest conducting appearances in the 2002-2003 season included the Bamberger Symphoniker, Jena Philharmonie, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester as well as the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.
A productive collaboration with the Tirolean State Theater in Innsbruck has lead to many successful opera projects: including Mozart's Magic Flute, concertante performances of Rossini's Otello as well as a new production of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito in the 2001-2002 season. In the 2002-2003 season Christoph Poppen conducts a new production of George Frideric Handel“s Ariodante at the Opera in Gent with performances in Gent and Antwerp.
Christoph Poppen has released several CDs together with the Münchener Kammerorchester such as the complete recording of Haydn“s Violin Concertos with Isabelle Faust as soloist for PAN Classics, an orchestral version of Schubert's Death and the Maiden as well as a recording of Concert Arias by Mozart with Juliane Banse, both for TUDOR. The first step in a long term collaboration with ECM is the CD "Funèbre" which has already been the recipient of many awards. Recordings of Bach Cantatas paired with Anton Webern, the Seven Last Words by Sofia Gubaidulina, and also the Violin and Viola Concertos by Tigran Mansurian have recently been recorded for ECM, and are soon to be released.
Christoph Poppen has won prizes at numerous national and international violin competitions, and in 1978 established the Cherubini Quartet which, with Poppen as first violinist, was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1981 International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. Concerts in almost all the world“s major concert venues followed, as well as numerous CD, radio and televison recordings. He has also made appearances with leading orchestras and conductors as soloist. Most recently, in autumn of 2001, the CD "Morimur" was released: a recording of J.S. Bach's Partita in D minor with Christoph Poppen and the Hilliard Ensemble.
As a pedagogue Christoph Poppen was professor for violin and chamber music at the Detmold Conservatory between 1988-1995, assuming the same position at the "Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik" in Berlin in 1995, whose President he was 1996-2000.
In 2001 Christoph Poppen assumed the artistic directorship of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.