Manfred Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, Honeck spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. It is this experience that heavily influenced his conducting and helped give it a distinctive stamp.
Honeck commenced his conducting career as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House from 1991 - 1996, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993.
In 1996, Manfred Honeck began a three-year stint as one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, and in 1997, he served as Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo for a year. A highly successful tour of Europe with the Oslo Philharmonic marked the beginning of a close collaboration with this orchestra, which consequently appointed him Principal Guest Conductor, a post he held from 1998-2004.
From 2000 to 2006 he was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in 2007, Manfred Honeck assumed his post as Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart. Beginning in September 2008, Honeck becomes the Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. In January 2007, after several highly successful guest appearances leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, he was appointed its ninth Music Director, and eagerly begins this position at the start of the 2008-2009 season.
As a guest conductor, Manfred Honeck has worked with such major international orchestras as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Czech Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic in Europe, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the U.S.
In addition to his post at the Stuttgart Opera, other operatic engagements have led Honeck to guest conduct the Semperoper in Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels and Royal Opera of Copenhagen, as well as the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. He appears regularly at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, where he is scheduled to lead a concert performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with an international cast in 2009. Honeck has also been Artistic Director of the "International Concerts Wolfegg" summer music series in Germany for more than fifteen years.