Christian Badea has received exceptional acclaim throughout his career, which encompasses prestigious engagements in the foremost concert halls and opera houses of Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and South America.
At Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Salle Pleyel, Rudolfinum, or at the Concertgebouw, Christian Badea has conducted many orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic and the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Hague Philharmonic and the Amsterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the RAI Orchestra in Torino, the Maggio Musicale Orchestra in Florence, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon and the National Orchestra of Spain among many others. In Asia he conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic and he toured Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic.
In North America, Christian Badea was a guest of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington DC, the Montreal Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall among others.
Equally dividing his time between symphony and opera conducting, Christian Badea has appeared as a frequent guest in the major opera houses of the world.
At the Metropolitan Opera in New York he conducted over 160 performances in a wide variety of repertoire, from Mozart, Verdi and Puccini to Mussorgski, including many of the MET international broadcasts, collaborating with the most important singers of our time.
Among the opera houses where Christian Badea has guest conducted, are the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Sydney Opera, the Staatsoper in Hamburg, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, the Grand Theatre in Geneva, the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, the Royal Opera theaters in Copenhagen and Stockholm, the Oslo Opera, the Teatro Regio in Torino and the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Opera National de Lyon and in North America – the opera companies of Houston, Dallas, Toronto, Montreal and Detroit.
Recently, Christian Badea conducted a new production of Don Carlo for the Gothenburg Opera in a performance which was hailed as “world class” by the critics, opened the Enescu International Festival in Bucharest with the Hague Philharmonic and conducted a new production of Die tote Stadt for the Australian Opera in Sydney – a triumph with critics and audiences alike. He was immediately asked to return to Sydney and Melbourne, to conduct concerts and several opera productions, including Tosca, Otello, Turandot and Falstaff.
After a most successful debut with Tannhauser at the Budapest Opera, he was invited to return with Der Fliegende Hollander and Parsifal, as well as for concerts with the Budapest Philharmonic.
In 2017 he debuted with Andrea Chenier, at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, with Jose Cura in the title role– a production which was a resounding success.
With the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and soloists such as Stefan Vinke, Petra Lang and Eric Halfvarson, Christian Badea brought Parsifal to the Romanian Athenaeum in 2016, in the double role of conductor and stage director.
Christian Badea’s extensive repertoire ranges from the works of Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to the composers of the 21st century. His programs have frequently included many of the works of such 20th century composers as Zemlinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Bartok, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Messiaen, Ligeti and Berio. His particular interest in French culture has been featured in concert programs and recordings dedicated to French music.
His operatic repertoire encompasses more than 100 operas with particular emphasis on the works of Mozart, Strauss, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, as well as those of 20th century composers such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Berg and Samuel Barber. He has conducted extensively the Italian and French repertoire, collaborating with the most important singers of the last three decades.
Christian Badea’s strong commitment to contemporary music has brought him in direct collaboration with many composers. Among them are Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Peter Mennin, Michael Tippett, George Crumb, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse and Romanian composers such as Dan Dediu, Stefan Niculescu and Cornel Taranu, to name just a few.
His discography includes the Saint Saens Symphony no.3 with the Royal Philharmonic on the Telarc label, award winning recordings of symphonies of American composers Roger Sessions and Peter Mennin, as well as a live recording of Samuel Barber’s opera Antony and Cleopatra, which won a Grammy Award.
Christian Badea has appeared frequently in the United States on nationally telecast performances. He was also featured in televised concerts and opera performances in Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and Japan and has conducted at festival venues in Florence, Vienna, Paris, Munich, Bucharest, Hong Kong and Verona. He was the Music Director of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, in Italy and the USA, for a period of 10 years.
His career is marked by important collaborations with many of the major artists of our time, such as Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, YoYo Ma, Yefim Bronfman, Shlomo Mintz, Midori, Cho Liang Lin, Mitsuko Uchida, Misha Maisky, singers such as Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Natalie Dessay, Thomas Hampson and many stage directors, including Stefan Herheim, Bruce Beresford, David Pountney, John Cox, Werner Herzog, Andrei Serban and Keith Warner.
Christian Badea received his initial training as a violinist at the Bucharest Conservatory of Music, followed by studies in Geneva and New York with Henryk Szeryng and Dorothy DeLay. He studied conducting in Brussels, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan and at the Juilliard School. One of his most important mentors in New York was Leonard Bernstein.
Since 2012, Christian Badea is Principal Conductor of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic in Bucharest.
In the same year, he established the ROMANIAN FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC, dedicated to creating projects of the highest international artistic quality. Among these projects are the Sibiu – Hermannstadt International Music Festival, the project PARSIFAL AT THE ATHENAEUM – realized in partnership with the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and the Romanian Cultural Institute, the series of the Great Concerts of the Centenary of Romania, as well as collaborations with soloists such as Mischa Maisky and Khatia Buniatishvili.
His last appearance at the George Enescu Festival was in 2019 , when he conducted the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic with Vadim Repin as soloist.