Jun Märkl has long been known as a highly respected interpreter of the core Germanic repertoire from both the symphonic and operatic traditions, and more recently for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French impressionists. His long-standing relationships at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Semperoper Dresden have in recent years been complemented by his Music Directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon (2005-11) and MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (to 2012). For the 14/15 and 15/16 seasons he is Principal Conductor to the Basque National Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Pacific Music Festival (Japan) for 2015. He guests with the world's leading orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich.
In 2012 he was honoured by the French Ministry of Culture with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his achievements in Lyon, notably his hugely successful nine-disc Debussy cycle with the orchestra on Naxos. He also toured with the orchestra to Japan and major European halls and festivals such as the Salle Pleyel, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, BBC Proms, Bad Kissingen, Rheingau and Luzern. With MDR he toured to Spain and the Baltics, made regular appearances in the Berlin Konzerthaus and Cologne Philharmonie, and conducted Schumann's rarely-heard opera Genoveva at the Rotterdam Opera Festival.
In 2014/15 Märkl returns to the Orchestre National de Lyon and also to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tonkuenstler Vienna and Hamburgische Staatsorchester, all of whom invite him frequently. He is also often invited to several leading North American orchestras, notably Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinatti, Dallas, Indianapolis and St Louis.
In addition, he has conducted many times at NHK Symphony Tokyo, Pacific Music Festival Sapporo and with the Mito Chamber Orchestra, and recently accepted the position of Invited Professor at the Kunitachi School of Music in Tokyo. In January 2015 he conducted the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra for the first time.
Märkl has been a regular guest at the State Operas of Vienna, Munich and Semper Oper Dresden, and was until 2006 Permanent Conductor of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He made his Royal Opera House debut with Götterdämmerung in 1996 and at the Metropolitan Opera with Il Trovatore in 1998, has conducted complete Ring Cycles at the Deutsche Oper and at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, and toured to Japan in 2007 with the Semper Oper Dresden (Tannhäuser). Opera projects 2014-15 include Fidelio in Hamburg and in Cincinatti, Rosenkavalier in Budapest, and Idomeneo in Tokyo.
In 2014 Naxos released two Hosokawa discs recorded by Jun Märkl with Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Whilst in Lyon he made live recordings for Altus of Strauss, Beethoven and Mahler to complement his Naxos discs of Debussy, Ravel, and Messiaen. With MDR Symphony he recorded Brahms symphonies and Schoenberg on Altus, and Mendelssohn and d'Albert for Naxos. He has also recorded the complete Schumann symphonies live with the NHK Symphony on Exton label, Dvořák on Telarc with the Indianapolis Symphony.
Born in Munich, his (German) father was a distinguished Concertmaster and his (Japanese) mother a solo pianist. Märkl studied violin, piano and conducting at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, going on to study with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich and with Gustav Meier in Michigan. In 1986 he won the conducting competition of the Deutsche Musikrat and a year later won a scholarship from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to study at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Soon afterwards he had a string of appointments in European opera houses followed by his first music directorships at the Staatstheater in Saarbrücken (1991-94) and at the Mannheim Nationaltheater (1994-2000).