Hilary Griffiths is a British conductor now living in Germany. He has held appointments as General Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Opera in Regensburg, Chief Conductor of the State Opera, Prague, Music Director of the Oberhausen Opera, Principal Staff Conductor at the Cologne Opera and Director of the Opera Studio, and Music Director of the Eutin Opera Festival. He has worked as a guest conductor throughout Europe, has made several visits to the Far East, Australia and South America, and has appeared at the festivals of Edinburgh, Camden, Schwetzingen, Wiesbaden, Würzburg, Gmunden, Prague, Litomyšl, Miskolc, Tenerife, Hong Kong and Perth (Australia). He was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Wuppertal Opera from 2009 - 2012 and is currently Artistic Director of the Opera at the Eutin Festival in North Germany.
Hilary Griffiths was born in Leamington Spa, England. He was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge and later received an honours degree in mathematics at Trinity College, Oxford. His musical studies continued at the Royal Academy of Music, the London Opera Centre, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, where he became a prizewinner at the international conducting competitions of AIDEM in Florence and Marinuzzi in San Remo.
He has conducted more than one hundred operas and a very broad repertoire of symphonic works: recent high points included Britten's War Requiem in the Rudolfinum, Prague, Holst's The Planets and Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie in the Audimax, Regensburg, Bruckner 9 in the Regensburg cathedral and Das Lied von der Erde and Dvorák's New World Symphony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the orchestra of the State Opera, Prague. He conducted a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies and concertos in Cologne and has broadcast concerts with the West German Radio Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Bogotá and the Virtuosi di Praga. He conducted an extended tour of Spain with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and toured Japan with the State Opera Prague and with the Oberhausen opera. He has conducted much contemporary music including several world premieres and German premieres, many programmes for children and young people, concerts with music from operettas and musicals, and New Year concerts.
He recently conducted the first modern performances of symphonies by Pokorny (in his own edition) and his own orchestrations of the French songs by Wagner. He has recorded CDs of works by Jommelli and Weber and complete recordings of Tiefland, La Bohème (Leoncavallo) and I vespri siciliani. His DVD of Il matrimonio segreto is available on Euro Arts and his performance of Der Freischütz was televised by NDR (North German Television).
For the Tenerife Opera Festival he has conducted Il matrimonio segreto, Die Entführung, Un ballo in maschera, Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly. Other productions in recent years included Erwartung for the Prague Spring Festival, Porgy & Bess for the State Opera Istanbul, Tosca, Aida and Zauberflöte at the Cologne Opera and thirteen new productions at the State Opera Prague including Salome, Tiefland and the Czech premiere of Britten’s Death in Venice. From 2005 until 2008 he was a professor at the Mannheim University of Music and Music Director of the Opera School. During this time he conducted among other projects new productions of Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Der Freischütz, Il trovatore and Der Vogelhändler at the Eutin Festival, Tosca, Carmen, La Bohème and a new production of I vespri siciliani at the State Opera Prague, concerts entitled Belcanto in der Oper at the National Theatre, Mannheim and The Bartered Bride in Kaiserslautern.
In Wuppertal he conducted Fidelio, L’Elisir d’amore, Hänsel und Gretel, The Cunning Little Vixen, Greek Passion, Idomeneo, La Bohème, Arabella, A Florentine Tragedy, Gianni Schicchi, Falstaff and The Flying Dutchman as well as the world premiere of La porta della legge by Salvatore Sciarrino, which was invited to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York and the Iberoamerican Festival of Theatre in Bogotá. For the Colombian National Opera he has conducted La Cenerentola, Don Pasquale, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly, Cosí fan tutte and Fidelio. In 2017 he conducts a new production of Otello at the Teatro Colón, Bogotá.
From 2012 to 2014 he conducted new productions of Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci and Tannhäuser as well as repertoire performances of Nabucco, Madama Butterfly and Aida in Prague. A new production of Bluthochzeit by Fortner in Wuppertal in 2013 was received with glowing reviews and has since been released by WERGO as a DVD. Symphony concerts in Germany, the Czech Republic and Colombia based on paintings (Pictures at an Exhibition) and other themes (Angels and Devils) received critical acclaim. In October/November 2017 he conducted Il barbiere di Siviglia for English National Opera at the London Coliseum and since 2017 has conducted yearly productions at the University of Georgia in the U.S.A. In 2018 he conducted the symphony orchestra of Hradec Králové for the first time and returned to Eutin with a Gala Concert. In 2019 he returned to the Cologne Opera, conducting a revival of My Fair Lady, conducted a new production of Un ballo in maschera and a Gala in Eutin and re-orchestrated and conducted ‘Offenbachs Panoptikum’ at the Volksbühne, Cologne, as part of the celebrations of Offenbach’s birthday
In September 2020 he conducted the first performances during the pandemic at the Prague State Opera and returned there to conduct Tosca in June 2021.
The Eutin Festival 2021 was a huge success with sold-out performances of La Bohème, a Big Band Crossover concert including music by Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein, which was the hit of the season, and a celebration of the 200th. anniversary of Der Freischütz coupled with the Crees version of West Side Story.