John Neumeier, director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, was born in 1942 in Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA). He studied ballet in his hometown and in Chicago, then at the School of the Royal British Ballet in London as well as with Vera Volkova in Copenhagen.
In 1973 August Everding invited him to Hamburg. Under the guidance of Mr. Neumeier the ballet company of the Hamburg Staatsoper became the center of German Ballet life. Daphnes and Cloe, Romeo and Juliet, Meyerbeer-Schuman, Nutcracker, Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, Songs of Ruckert, Punch-Variations,
«À Midsummer Night's Dream», The Lady with Camelias' Streetcar-Desire, Legend of King Arthur, Undine, Peer Gunt were among the most outstanding works of Neumeier. An important trend of his choreography — creation of his own versions of the great classical ballets.
Sunday Ballet Workshop Matinees became very popular in Hamburg. They include lectures on various styles of dance as well as demonstrations of the ballet fragments.
Hamburg Ballet has toured in most European countries, in North and South America and in Japan. John Neumeier has been invited as choreographer by many companies throughout the world — by the Royal Ballet, the London Festival Ballet, the Dutch Royal Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Stockholm, Ballet XXth Century in Brussels, the National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet of the National Paris Opera, by the companies of Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw.
In 1978 John Neumeier opened an eight grade school with two years of theatrical practice.
Since 1975 Mr. Neumeier has been organizing an annual ballet festival in Hamburg ending with a gala concert in honor of Nijinsky.
John Neumeier has received the German Cross for great services and German Tanzprize (Essen 1988). The city of Hamburg has given him the title of professor and his hometown Milwaukee the title of Doctor of Arts Honoris Causa. In France the Ministry of Culture has awarded the choreographer the title of Cavalier of the Order of Art and Literature and in Poland the Ministry of Culture decorated him with Nijinsky Medal. Íå became the first Benois`s laureate in 1992.