Hanna Munitz, General Director of the Israeli Opera, was born in Germany in 1946. She graduated from the Tel Aviv University in Philosophy and Theater Studies and also studied Law. She began her work in the Arts joining the Habimah National Theater, Tzavta, the Theater for Children and Youth and the Actor’s Stage. In 1970 she joined the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, where she was director of marketing, publicity, public relations and special projects. At the company’s inauguration in 1985, she joined the Israeli Opera, where she has held several positions including Deputy General Director. She was appointed General Director of the Israeli Opera in 1995. Ms. Munitz is married and has two children.
A native New Yorker, David Stern’s artistic expression stems from his work with both modern and period instruments. He conducts Baroque music with the same intensity as he does later repertoire, and remains sensitive to the subtleties inherent to the instruments and articulations of the period. With his creative and innovative programming, he is developing a reputation in Europe and in America for musical projects that step out of the boundaries of the usual concert season.
This season David Stern will begin his tenure as Music Director of the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra and Opera. Since 2003, Stern has been the Artistic Director of Opera Fuoco, an ensemble which marks a new generation of period instrument groups approaching classical and baroque repertoire with renewed vigor. The group has now performed at the Amsterdam Festival at the Concertgebouw and the Festival de Reims and in Metz with Stern in a production of Cherubini's Medee as well as regularly touring France. In 2005/6 they made their London debut at the Lufthansa Baroque Festival with Paul Agnew and Danielle de Niese. These artists also feature on their first recording - Handel's Semele which was released in 2004 to great critical acclaim. Their second CD - Jephtha was released last year and is distributed by MDG, Auvidis and Teldec. Already this season, Stern has made a successful debut with the KBS Symphony Orchestra and will conduct both the London Mozart Players and at the Glimmerglass Opera for the first time later. He will tour Europe with the Basel Chamber Orchestra and soloists such as Jennifer Larmore and Rudolf Lutz as well as with his own ensemble Opera Fuoco. This season Stern will also return to the New Russian Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra amongst others.
Stern opened his 2006/07 season with a successful performance of operas by Mozart and Salieri at the Lucerne Festival with his orchestra Opera Fuoco and singers Patricia Petibon, Lisa Larsson and Alan Ewing amongst others. He returns to the Festival in 2009 with Opera Fuoco. His season continued with a return to St. Gallen to conduct a performance of Don Giovanni; to Handel and Haydn Orchestra, Boston; Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra amongst others and debuts with the New Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Katowice Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Tokyo. He also made his operatic debut in New York with a production of Britten's Curlew River directed by Yoshi Oida.
In 2005/06, Stern made his debut with English National Opera and a production of Magic Flute with Toby Spence; with Handel and Haydn, Boston ; Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen ; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra , Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields as well as returning to work with the Northern Sinfonia , Basel Chamber Orchestra and Swedish Chamber Orchestra amongst others. His return to the Israeli Opera with a new production of Giulio Cesare was a resounding success and he will return there for productions in the future. Previously Stern’s guest conducting engagements have included a production of Magic Flute with Opera de Lyon; a return to Hong Kong for performances of Macbeth with Hong Kong Opera; a tour of the Far East and Europe with the English Chamber Orchestra and Sarah Chang; concerts with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and a European/UK tour with the Camerata Salzburg and Barbara Bonney. He has also appeared regularly with Gurzenich Orchestra, Cologne, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and the Orchestre de Paris and has conducted the Tivoli Orchestra in Copenhagen, the Orchestra Nazionale de la RAI in Torino, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra. In 1999 he made his UK debut in a studio recording with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and violinist Sarah Chang, and returned to the orchestra for a program of contemporary American repertoire. He has also worked regularly with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and has given performances in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam), Switzerland (Lucerne Festival) and at the Carnegie Hall in New York as part of a US tour.
In France, Stern was music director of the European Academy of Music in Aix-en-Provence from 1997 to 1999, where he conducted Britten's Curlew River staged by Yoshi Oida, filmed by Arte and shown in France and Germany, and Mozart's Magic Flute staged by Stéphane Braunschweig. Stern toured the productions, most notably Curlew River in the Vienna Festwochen, the Bouffes du Nord in Paris and in Brussels' La Monnaie and the Magic Flute in Lausanne, Rouen and Paris' Theatre de Bobigny and the Edinburgh Festival. During his tenure as Music Director of the Philharmonisches Orchestra Südwestfalen in Siegen, Germany, Stern made his debut recording with works by Otto Nicolai on the Dabringhaus und Grimm label which was hailed in Repertoire Magazine, Gramophone and Fono Forum. His recording of concerti and orchestral works by Albert Roussel with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris was released on the French label Auvidis, and received unanimous critical applause including four ††††'s from Telerama. His recording of piano concerti by John Field with Andreas Staier for Teldec was also greeted very favorably.