His 1991/92 season debut in the United States, conducting a new production of Strauss' Elektra in San Francisco was soon followed by engagements at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1997, he became Generalmusikdirektor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. A report in 2000 stated that Thielemann was to leave the Deutsche Oper in 2001 over artistic conflicts with the then-incoming artistic director Udo Zimmermann. Thielemann remained with the company until 2004, when he resigned over conflicts regarding Berlin city funding between the Deutsche Oper and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
Thielemann became principal conductor and music director of the Munich Philharmonic in September 2004. He stepped down from his Munich post in 2011, after disputes with orchestra management over final approval of selection of guest conductors and programs for the orchestra. In October 2009, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden announced the appointment of Thielemann as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2012/13 season. His current contract with Dresden is through 2019.
Controversy has attended to Thielemann after attribution of anti-semitic remarks to him in 2000, regarding Daniel Barenboim, which Thielemann subsequently denied. Other controversy has related to Thielemann's publication of opinions in sympathy to the Pegida movement.
In 2003, Thielemann was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz). In October 2011, he received honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2015, Thielemann won the Richard Wagner Award (Richard-Wagner-Preis) of Leipzig. He served as the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Opera Studies at Oxford University in January 2016.
Robert Schumann, Symphony No.2, Overture Manfred, Concert for 4 Horns, Op. 86, Philharmonia Orchestra, September 1997
Ludwig van Beethoven, Funeral Cantata on the Death of the Emperor Joseph II, Robert Schumann, Konzertstück, Op. 86, for 4 Horns and Orchestra, Hans Pfitzner, Palestrina (Preludes to acts 1 and 2), 1997
Hans Pfitzner, Music from Palestrina; Das Käthchen von Heilbronn; Richard Strauss, Guntram (prelude), Capriccio (prelude), Feuersnot (love scene), Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1996
For EMI Classics
Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, Arias by René Kollo, Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1992
For Unitel Classica
Richard Strauss, Arabella. Live recording of Salzburg Easter Festival 2014. DVD and Blue Ray with Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Daniel Behle. Stage director: Florentine Klepper, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor and Staatskapelle Dresden. Unitel Classica, September 2014.
Productions about Thielemann
Christian Thielemann, documentary film, Germany, 2012, directed by Mathias Siebert, produced by Bremedia Produktion, Radio Bremen, MDR, in the serial Deutschland, deine Künstler. Information by ARD, Online-Video
Christian Thielemann – Romantischer Querkopf, documentary film by Felix Schmidt, 2007, produced by FTS Media and Unitel, coproduced by Classica
Through the Night with Christoph Schlingensief and Christian Thielemann (Durch die Nacht mit ...), documentary film, Germany, 2002, directed by: Edda Baumann-von Broen and Daniel Finkernagel, produced by: avanti media, ZDF and arte. Information by avanti media
Productions with Thielemann
Frederick the Great Remix (Der Große Friedrich Remix - Musik um den Preußenkönig), directed by Friederike Schlumbom, Oktober 18, 2012, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg
Discovering Beethoven (Beethoven entdecken), dokumentary TV serial, Germany, Austria, 2011, directed by Christoph Engel and Anca-Monica Pandelea, produced by: Unitel Classica, ORF, ZDF, 3sat Joachim Kaiser and Christian Thielemann talk about the nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven. Information and video by sky arts
Wagner Birthday Concert: Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden (Wagner-Geburtstagskonzert: Thielemann dirigiert die Sächsische Staatskapelle), recording of Mai 21, 2013, directed by: Michael Beyer, ZDF
Thielemann conducts Strauß (Thielemann dirigiert Strauß), Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic, Salzburg Festival 2011, Great Festival Hall, Salzburg, directed by Michael Beyer, 3sat
Summer Night Music with Christian Thielemann (Sommernachtsmusik mit Christian Thielemann), Christian Thielemann conducts the Munich Philharmonic, Herrenchiemsee Palace, 31 August 2010, directed by Henning Kasten, ZDF and Arte