Hans Zender (1936, Germany), studied composition, piano and conducting at the Musikhochschulen of both Frankfurt and Freiburg. By 1964, he was already principal conductor of the Bonn Opera, before being appointed General Director of Music in Kiel in 1969. In 1972 he assumed the post of principal conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Saarbrücken, which he held for over 10 years. From 1984 to 1987 he served as General Director of Music at the Hamburg State Opera. Since 1988 he has been Professor for Composition at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule and since 1999 he has acted as permanent guest conductor and member of the artistic board of the SWR Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden and Freiburg.

In addition to his engagement as an international conductor (for example at music festivals like Bayreuth, Wien, Salzburg, Berlin etc.), Hans Zender has forged a worldwide reputation as a composer of orchestral and chamber music, vocal works and opera (including Stephen Climax, 1979/84 and Don Quixote, 1989/94).

He is also member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the Munich-based Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. In 1997 Hans Zender was awarded the Goethe Prize from the City of Frankfurt. In the same year, CPO released a CD edition (17 CDs) featuring works conducted by him, ranging from classical to contemporary music. The collected essays of Hans Zender were also published under the titles Happy New Ears and Wir steigen niemals in denselben Fluss (Herder, Freiburg).

In 2004 his texts about music 1975-2003 have been published under the title: Die Sinne denken (Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden).

Hans Zender’s third Opera (Chief Joseph) has been premiered in June 2005 at the Berlin State Opera. In 2005/2006 he will be Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin as well as Composer in Residence at the German Symphonic Orchestra.