Paul Connelly, educated at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, is one of the world´s most famous ballet conductors. He was capellmeister at the American Ballet Theatre, conductor of the New York City Ballet, of „Nureyev and Friends“, „Baryshnikov and Co.“, the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet London, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam, La Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera and the Staatsballett Berlin, to only name a few of his numerous engagements.
He is also a very sought-after conductor of operas and in addition First Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Colonne in Paris. Paul Connelly made his debut at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1991 as conductor of a ballet gala, his debut as opera conductor in the house on the ring followed in 1992 with Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other ballets he conducted at the Wiener Staatsoper were Nussknacker, Romeo und Julia and Dornröschen.
"The Nutcracker" is certainly the most performed work in the ballet literature and one which has become a central experience for generations of ballet audiences. Choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev in 1967, this version holds a special place in the performance history of the Tchaikovsky classic as it takes up psychological aspects of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story between reality and dream.