The Swiss conductor, Stefan Blunier, studied in his hometown and then piano, horn, composition and conducting at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. While still a student he founded the "Ensemble für Neue Musik Essen" and began to make a name for himself as a pianist on the international music scene with piano and Lieder recitals. His career as conductor was a classic ascent through the opera houses of Germany, and after working in Mainz, Augsburg and Mannheim (Associate Chief Conductor) he became Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Staatstheater Darmstadt (2001-2008).
Stefan Blunie’s early success in conducting competitions (Besançon 1990, Malko in Copenhagen 1992) yielded concert engagements both at home and abroad. He has guest-conducted nearly all the German radio symphony orchestras, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, the Staatsphilharmonie Ludwigshafen, the Duisburg Symphony Orchestra as well as many orchestras in Denmark, Belgium, Korea, Switzerland and France. In the field of opera he has worked at the opera houses in Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart and Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper where he is a regular guest), as well as in Montpellier, Oslo and Bern. In spring 2010 he will make his debut at English National Opera conducting Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers.
His special interest in late 19th century and early 20th century repertoire as well as contemporary music was especially reflected in his programming in Darmstadt, where he conducted operas such as Das Spielwerk by Schreker, Carl Orff's Oedipus der Tyrann and Antigone, the first performances in Germany of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin and Cerha’s Der Rattenfänger, as well as a Wagner cycle. In the field of symphonic music, in addition to the standard repertoire he has a special liking for the works of Zemlinsky, Pfitzner, Max Reger und Ferruccio Busoni, Arnold Schoenberg and Sibelius. Stefan Blunier records for the Sony, CPO and Dabringhaus labels.
From August 1, 2008 Stefan Blunier took up his appointment as General Music Director of the City of Bonn, giving him the double responsibility of Chief Conductor of both the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and Bonn Opera. Forthcoming plans with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn include tours of Japan, Korea, Netherlands and Austria. His first CD with the orchestra has recently been released (Dabringhaus und Grimm) and is entirely dedicated to A. Schoenberg presenting works from the composer’s four important creative periods.
Stefan Blunier has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Belgique from the 2010-2011 season.