Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announces world-renowned conductor Jun Märkl as new music director
INDIANAPOLIS (January 23, 2024) —Exciting new artistic leadership is coming to the Hilbert Circle Theatre in 2024 as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) welcomes conductor Jun Märkl as the ISO’s eighth music director effective September 1, 2024, which marks the beginning of the 2024–25 season. Prior to that, Maestro Märkl will make his debut as music director designate conducting The Music of Strauss on January 26–27, 2024, at Hilbert Circle Theatre amid a week of celebrations.
“The ISO is thrilled to announce Jun Märkl as the orchestra’s next music director,” said James Johnson, CEO, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. “The ISO is deeply grateful to Maestro Märkl for his artistic leadership and unwavering commitment to the orchestra. We look forward to an exhilarating new era of musical collaboration and artistic excellence in the coming years under Maestro Märkl’s vision.”
Maestro Märkl has served as the ISO’s artistic advisor since 2021 and will act as music director designate until September. As music director, he will bring creative leadership to the ISO through visionary programming, community engagement, and artistic development. This new appointment celebrates the culmination of Maestro Märkl’s nearly 25-year collaboration with the ISO. Märkl currently serves as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Principal Guest Conductor of the Oregon Symphony, and was recently named Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague beginning with the 2025-26 season.
Maestro Märkl is highly respected as an interpreter of both symphonic and operatic Germanic repertoire, and for his idiomatic explorations of the French impressionists. His long-standing relationships with the great opera houses and orchestras of Europe have been highlighted by his leadership as General Music Director of the National Theater Mannheim, and as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig and the Basque National Orchestra. He has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Orchestre de Paris in Europe, the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony in North America, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, the Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Australia, among many others.
“The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra shines a sparkling light throughout the city of Indianapolis with every unforgettable performance. Through our concerts that feature the incredibly talented ISO musicians, highly acclaimed soloists and guest conductors, the ISO’s Education and Community Engagement programs that serve music lovers of all ages, and so much more, the ISO is a positive force for good in our community, and I’m excited and honored to lead the charge,” said Maestro Märkl.
“Nothing pleases me more than to welcome Jun Märkl as the new music director of our ISO,” said Maestro Jack Everly, Principal Pops Conductor. “Jun’s global reputation of gold-standard musicianship will carry the orchestra forward. My concerts consisting of the Film Series, Yuletide Celebration, and the Pops Series would not be possible without the core musical foundation of classical training, which is the very heart of the ISO. The ISO has been led and influenced by great leaders including John Nelson, Mario Venzago, and my personal friend, the great Raymond Leppard. I am confident that Maestro Märkl will not only continue our high musical standards but further and strengthen the ISO’s musical legacy.”
“The musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra are thrilled to welcome Jun Märkl as music director,” said Kevin Lin, concertmaster of the ISO. “His inspiring leadership and instinctive musicality will honor the historical provenance of the ISO while leading our orchestra to even greater musical heights. Together, we look forward to putting the ISO firmly on the map as the cultural beacon of our city, and as one of the finest orchestras of our generation.”
“Jun Märkl’s long-standing history of connecting communities through musical experiences places him in perfect alignment with the ISO’s values,” said Greg Loewen, ISO Board of Directors chair. “The ISO Board is delighted to welcome Maestro Märkl and his visionary leadership for the orchestra.”
“IU Health Plans is thrilled to be starting another year of partnership with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as title sponsor for its 2024 classical series. The ISO brings a rich variety of events to our community, and we’re honored to partner with an organization that makes the arts more accessible. IU Health Plans has a strong focus on whole person health, and our partnership with the ISO supports this mission. Exciting things are coming this year for the ISO, and the announcement of a new director of music is just the beginning,” said Stephanie Motter, president of IU Health Plans.
Märkl’s five-year contract with the ISO extends through the 2028–29 season. He will conduct nine weeks of concerts in Indianapolis each season, beginning with six weeks during the 2024–25 season, in addition to other duties.
This weekend, join Maestro Märkl as he conducts the Music of Strauss. Hear Strauss at his most whimsical in Till Eulenspiegel and his most profound in Also Sprach Zarathustra—music made famous by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. German violinist Carolin Widmann will join the ISO for Strauss’ youthful Violin Concerto. Tickets are available here.
See all 23-24 season concerts featuring Maestro Märkl.
Read more about the ISO’s history here, including a full list of previous music directors.
About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the IU Health Plans Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, Kroger Symphony on the Prairie, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration, and the popular Film Series presented by Bank of America. For more information, visit www.indianapolissymphony.org.
Activities are made possible in part by Nickel Plate Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.