Elena Schwarz is recognized for her insightful interpretations that bring a freshness to performances of core repertoire alongside an extensive knowledge and experienced approach to a wide range of contemporary music, bringing a human quality that inspires confidence and draws the best from musicians.
Whether in performances of Beethoven or Mahler or a multitude of contemporary scores, Schwarz is developing regular partnerships with a range of orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Klangforum Wien, San Diego Symphony, Royal Philharmonique de Liège, Tasmanian Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
Highlights of the 2023/24 season include performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, WDR Symfonieorchester, Hallé and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and a return to the US to conduct the Utah Symphony Orchestra. This follows earlier engagements which have included the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
Widely admired for her advocacy of new music, Schwarz has conducted world premiere performances by Peter Eötvös and George Aperghis and works regularly with specialist contemporary ensembles including MusikFabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Luzern Festival Contemporary Orchestra and Klangforum Wien with whom she made her Salzburg Festival debut in two performances last summer.
Following an acclaimed production of Kat’a Kabanova at Opera de Lyon, Schwarz makes her debut this season at Dutch National Opera conducting Saariaho’s Innocence as well as Rusalka at Opéra de Nice, and Bernhard Lang’s Dora at Staatsoper Stuttgart. Earlier productions have taken her to the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (The Sleeping Thousand by Adam Maor), Norwegian Opera (Hansel & Gretel) and Opéra de Lyon (Peer Gynt).
A former Dudamel Fellow (2018-19), Schwarz’s accolades include 1st Prize at the Princess Astrid Competition (Trondheim 2014) and 2nd Prize at the Jorma Panula Competition (Vaasa 2015). She studied conducting at the Geneva Conservatoire and Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana before undertaking further studies with Peter Eötvös and Matthias Pintscher and masterclasses with Bernard Haitink and Neeme Järvi. She was assistant to Mikko Franck at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Asher Fisch at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Marko Letonja at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra where she was subsequently appointed Associate Conductor (2019-21).