From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. LA Opera: Orpheus and Eurydice (2018, debut). He will return with Bach's St. Matthew Passion (2022).
John Neumeier is the Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1939, he studied in his native city as well as in Chicago, Copenhagen and London. In 1963 John Cranko invited him to join Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to soloist and continued his choreographic development. Appointed Director of Ballet Frankfurt in 1969, he soon caused a sensation with his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. In 1973, he became Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet. Under his direction, the Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies on the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.
As a choreographer, Mr. Neumeier has continually focused on the preservation of ballet tradition, while giving his works a modern dramatic framework. His ballets range from new versions of full-length story ballets to musicals and symphonic ballets as well as choreographies to sacred music. His latest creations for the Hamburg Ballet are Ghost Light in 2020, Beethoven Project II, Hamlet 21 and the new version of The Sleeping Beauty in 2021. In addition to his great commitment to the Hamburg Ballet, he regularly works as guest choreographer with the most renowned international ballet companies.
In 1975, John Neumeier conceived the Hamburg Ballet Days as a climax and end to each season. Three years later, he founded the School of the Hamburg Ballet. Today more than 80% of the company’s dancers are graduates from the school. In 2011, Neumeier founded Germany’s National Youth Ballet, a creative and young company that finds its performing spaces in schools, retirement homes and prisons.
John Neumeier has received some of the most prestigious international awards. He holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the French Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honor. In 2015, the Inamori Foundation presented John Neumeier with the Kyoto Prize for his contributions to the Arts and Philosophy. In 2017, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the Prix Benois de la Danse and the Prix de Lausanne as well as the Erich Fromm Prize. In 2019, he received the People's Republic of China Friendship Award. In 2021, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark awarded John Neumeier the Medal of Honor ›Ingenio et arti‹, a personal honor bestowed by the Danish royal house on outstanding personalities in the field of arts and scientists.
In 2006 Mr. Neumeier established the John Neumeier Foundation with the aim of preserving and eventually making available to the public his collection of dance and ballet-related objects.