Jun Märkl has long been known as a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French impressionists. His long-standing relationships at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Semperoper Dresden have in recent years been complemented by his Music Directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon (2005-11) and MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (to 2012). For the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons he is Principal Conductor to the Basque National Orchestra. He guests with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.
In 2014/15 Märkl returns to the Orchestre National de Lyon and also to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tonkuenstler Vienna and Hamburgische Staatsorchester, all of whom invite him frequently. He also makes his debut with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, having previously appeared regularly with the NHK Symphony and also at the Pacific Music Festival Sapporo and with the Mito Chamber Orchestra; he recently accepted the position of Invited Professor at the Kunitachi School of Music in Tokyo. He appears every season with leading North American orchestras, this season returning to Atlanta, St Louis and Indianapolis, and appearing in Houston for the first time.
Märkl has been a regular guest at the State Operas of Vienna, Munich and Semper Oper Dresden, and was until 2006 Permanent Conductor of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He made his Royal Opera House debut with Götterdämmerung in 1996 and at the Metropolitan Opera with Il Trovatore in 1998, has conducted complete Ring Cycles at the Deutsche Oper and at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, and toured to Japan in 2007 with the Semper Oper Dresden (Tannhäuser). This season he conducts Idomeneo in Tokyo and Fidelio in Cincinatti.
In 2014, Naxos released two Hosokawa discs recorded by Jun Märkl with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has also recorded the complete Schumann symphonies live with the NHK Symphony, Dvořák on Telarc, Mendelssohn and D’Albert with MDR, and Ravel, Messaien and a highly acclaimed nine-disc Debussy set with the Orchestre National de Lyon on Naxos. In recognition of his achievements in Lyon, he was honoured by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012 with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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).