"One of the finest Mahler interpreters" (BBC Music Magazine) and "an opera master with a magical touch" (The New Yorker), Ion Marin established a distinguished reputation in both symphonic and opera domains. A disciple of Carlos Kleiber and Claudio Abbado, he privileged an extensive international activity over permanent positions.
An Austrian national, Ion Marin was born in Romania and received his education in composition, piano and conducting at the George Enescu College and at Salzburg's Mozarteum. He also studied philosophy and history of religion and is fluent in six languages. Defecting from Romania’s dictatorship in 1986 led to a new life and musical career in Vienna where he became Resident Conductor of the Vienna State Opera during Claudio Abbado's tenure (1987-1991). In Vienna, Ion Marin conducted a wide opera repertoire collaborating with famous singers including Luciano Pavarotti, Agnes Baltsa, Jose Carreras, Gundula Janowitz, Herman Prey, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Edita Gruberova, Giuseppe Taddei and Mirella Freni. He also benefited from the guidance of Herbert von Karajan.
The ample range of symphonic and vocal-symphonic repertoire makes Maestro Marin's programs recognized worldwide as extremely creative, engaging and innovative and his reputation led to his conducting virtually all of the greatest European orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, Staatskapelle Dresden, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Philharmonia London, Orchestra della Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic as well as many others throughout the world. He appears regularly in Japan, China and Korea. Martha Argerich, Yo-Yo Ma, Maxim Vengerov, Lang Lang, Gidon Kremer, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Franck Peter Zimmerman, are among the soloists he collaborates with. He also had the privilege to work with music luminaries like Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich and Alexis Weissenberg.
Maestro Marin's discography comprises over 40 titles released by prestigious houses like Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, EMI, Sony and Philips. His outstanding recordings earned him three Grammy nominations (USA), the Diapason d'Or (France) and the German Recording Critic's Prize (Germany). In 2012 he received the Echo Klassik Award in the Bestseller Category. His releases include also the Berlin Philharmonic Waldbühne Concert featuring Renee Fleming (Euroarts, 2011), the Legacy album with David Garrett and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca, 2012) and Bruch Violin Concertos with Guy Braunstein and the Bamberger Symphoniker (Tudor, 2012) and The Lugano Concertos with Martha Argerich (Deutsche Grammophon, 2012). Ion Marin led new productions at the world's major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Bastille, Royal Danish Opera, San Francisco Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Hamburg State Opera, Teatro La Fenice, Zurich Opera and Rossini Opera Festival. He inaugurated the Nuovo Piccolo Teatro in Milan with a legendary production of Cosi fan tutte directed by Giorgio Strehler.
Starting with the academic year 2020/2021, Ion Marin has been appointed as Endowed Professor of the Claudio Abbado Chair for conducting by the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. He is also the Artistic Director of the University's symphonic activities. An artist engaged in social activity, Maestro Marin initiated in 2012 the Cantus Mundi and the Symphonia Mundi projects in Romania dedicated to musical education and social integration through music for the country's disadvantaged children. Nowadays, there are over 70 000 children in Romania who benefit from this program. The French Republic Government has honored Maestro Ion Marin's activity by awarding him in 2021 the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.