A conductor whose international reputation is built on repertoire of unusual stylistic diversity. Frank Strobel has long been recognised as a leading figure in the space where film meet music. In particular, he has played a crucial role in bringing film concerts into leading opera houses and concert halls. From the 21/22 season he assumed the role of Chief Conductor of Cologne’s WDR Funkhausorchester.
As a guest conductor Frank Strobel conducts both film concerts and symphonic repertoire with orchestras such as the Filarmonica della Scala, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, HR-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Orchestre National de Belgique, Oslo Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Seattle Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sydney Symphony, Wiener Symphoniker and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He is curating film symphonic concert series at the Alte Oper Frankfurt and the Tonhalle Zürich.
Frank Strobel has been particularly at home in the French music scene for some time. In 2023 he will premiere in Paris with the Orchestre National de France the new score by David Hudry for “Berlin. Symphony of a big city”. Later on the premiere of the film concert with the feature film “Kaamelott: Premier Volet” by producer, actor and composer Alexandre Astier will take place with the Orchestre National de Lyon. Another premiere with the film music concert „Chaplin in Concert. With a smile“ took place under his direction at the Philharmonie de Paris with the Orchestre de Paris. Frank Strobel is also a repeated guest at the “Festival Lumière. Grand Lyon Film Festival”. In February 2021, he conducted at the “Victoires de la Musique.”
Another important French film concert project came to fruition at the Musikfest Berlin and at the Festival Lumière in Lyon in 2019: Abel Gance’s seven-hour silent epic La Roue, with a score specially assembled from 117 works written by French composers between 1880 and 1920. Having reconstructed Sergei Prokofiev’s music for Eisenstein’s films Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, Strobel conducted the first performances of his realisations at the Musikfest Berlin. In 2008 an original copy of Metropolis was discovered in Buenos Aires; two years later a fully restored version of the film was premiered at the Berlinale, with Frank Strobel conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. In 2006 at Dresden’s Semperoper he conducted the Staatskapelle Dresden to accompany a reconstruction of the film of Der Rosenkavalier with Richard Strauss’s original music.
Beyond the world of film music, Frank Strobel has achieved international recognition for his first performances and revivals of works by Alfred Schnittke, Franz Schreker, Alexander von Zemlinsky und Siegfried Wagner. The great Russian composer Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) found Frank Strobel congenial, considering him an ideal interpreter of his works. Strobel now retains the adaptation rights for Schnittke’s music.
In 2002 Frank Strobel and Beate Warkentien established the Europäische FilmPhilharmonie, an institution dedicated to the artistic development of music and film in the concert hall. This has given rise to such ambitious projects as Matrix Live at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Of special significance in this context is Strobel’s role as an adviser to the TV station ZDF/ARTE on its programming of silent films and this has resulted in notable performances of silent films to the accompaniment of legendary musical works.
Within his vast discography the CD series of first recordings with film suites by Alfred Schnittke, arranged by Frank Strobel and realised with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin were received to great critical acclaim. The fifth release of this series received an Opus Klassik Award in 2022.