Chichon, Karel Mark

Karel Mark Chichon OBE (born 1971, London) is a British-Gibraltarian orchestra conductor.

Chichon studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna under Leopold Hager. Chichon and businessman Ian Angus co-founded the Gibraltar Philharmonic Society in 1998.[1] Chichon continues to serve as the society's artistic director.[2]

Chichon was chief conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2009. He served as chief conductor and artistic director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra from 2009 to 2012. Chichon became chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern (DRP) in September 2011. In March 2013, his initial contract was extended through the 2016-2017 season.[3] In March 2015, the orchestra and Chichon mutually announced the scheduled conclusion of his DRP tenure at the end of the 2016-2017 season.[4] In the USA, Chichon made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut in February 2016 with performances of Madama Butterfly,[5] which included one cinema relay. In May 2017, he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, effective with the 2017-2018 season.[6] In May 2018 his contract has been renewed and he will continue to guide the artistic destiny of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria as its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director until the year 2023. [7]

His commercial recordings include two albums for Deutsche Grammophon, Meditation[8] and Habanera, both of which feature his wife Elīna Garanča.[9] In 2014 he recorded Dvořák's Symphony No. 1 with the DRP orchestra for the Hänssler Classic label, the first of a projected set of all nine of Dvořák's symphonies.[10]

Chichon was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to music and culture in Gibraltar.[11] In March 2016, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.[12]

Chichon and Elina Garanča have two daughters.[13]


  1. ^ "The Gibraltar Philharmonic Society has been created" (Press release). Gibraltar Philharmonic Society. 16 November 1998. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved 2016-06-22. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) (archived version of 16 January 2010).
  2. ^ Gibraltar Philharmonic Society Artistic Director: Karel Mark Chichon. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  3. ^ "Karel Mark Chichon hat seinen Vertrag als Chefdirigent der Deutschen Radio Philharmonie vorzeitig bis 2017 verlängert" (Press release). SWR. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  4. ^ "Karel Mark Chichon gibt bekannt, seinen Vertrag nach sechs Jahren als Chefdirigent der Deutschen Radio Philharmonie nicht zu verlängern" (Press release). SWR. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  5. ^ Zachary Woolfe (2016-02-21). "Review: 'Madama Butterfly' Showcases Ana María Martínez". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  6. ^ "Karel Mark Chichon, nuevo director de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria tras dirigir la Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, la Nacional de Letonia y la Sinfónica de Graz de Austria" (Press release). Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  7. ^ "Karel Mark Chichon renews contract in Gran Canaria". Pizzicato (in French). Retrieved 2018-05-25. 
  8. ^ Adrian Edwards (October 2014). "Elīna Garanča: Meditation". Gramophone. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  9. ^ Rupert Christiansen (2012-09-26). "Elina Garanca: We mezzos get to have such fun". Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  10. ^ Hodgson, Antony (July 2015). "Review: Karel Mark Chichon conducts Dvořák’s Complete Symphonies: 1 – Symphony No.1 (The Bells of Zlonice) [Hänssler"]. Classical Source
  11. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 23. 
  12. ^ "2016 Honours are announced" (Press release). Royal Academy of Music. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  13. ^ "Elina Garanča: a singer is like a sportsman". Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT). 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2016-06-08. 

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Olari Elts
Music Director, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Andris Poga
Preceded by
Christoph Poppen
Chief Conductor, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern
Succeeded by
Pietari Inkinen
Preceded by
Pedro Halffter
Chief Conductor, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria
Succeeded by