Manfred Honeck was born in Austria and completed his studies at the Music Academy in Vienna. For a number of years he was a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Opera, where he subsequently conducted the Youth Orchestra.
In 1987/1988 he was Claudio Abbado's assistant in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. From 1991 to 1996 he worked with the Zurich Opera, while in 1997 and 1998, he was Musical director of the National Opera of Oslo.
In 1993 he received the prestigious "European Conductor's Award" in Zurich. He was appointed one of the three principal conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig between 1996 and 1999. In 1996 he performed in a Festival with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra which nominated him principal guest Conductor in 1998.
At the beginning of the 2000/2001 season, he became the new permanent Conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Swedish Radio with whom he made his debut in New York in February 2001, during an American tour.
In the summer of 2001 he substituted for Neeme Järvi and conducted the Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms as well as at the Salzburg Festival, an event to which he returned the following year.
Manfred Honeck has worked with the principal orchestras of Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and Vienna as well as with the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He has also conducted in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Czech Republic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The France Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Others are the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
At present Maestro Honeck is the Artistic Director of the "Internationalen Wolfegger Sommerkonzerte".
He has made numerous recordings among which are "Romantic Arias" with the singer Matthias Goerne and the Swedish Radio Orchestra, for Decca.