Koenigs grew up in Aachen, in West Germany; as a young boy, he was a chorister at Aachen Cathedral, where he sang all of Anton Bruckner's masses and motets, and developed a special affinity for Bruckner's music.
After his studies, he held appointments in Hagen, Münster and Bonn. From 2000 to 2003, he was Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) at the Osnabrück Theatre. His freelance work since his Osnabrück tenure has included engagements at the Opéra National de Lyon of Wozzeck (2003), a Janáček cycle of Jenufa, Káťa Kabanová and The Makropulos Affair (2004), and Lohengrin (2006).
Koenigs first conducted the orchestra of Welsh National Opera (WNO) in January 2005. He subsequently appeared as a guest conductor in WNO productions of Salome and Khovanshchina. In July 2008, WNO appointed Koenigs its next music director, effective with the 2009–2010 season. His initial WNO contract was for five years. He made his Proms conducting debut on 17 July 2010 with a concert performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with Bryn Terfel as Hans Sachs, in the first complete performance of Die Meistersinger at The Proms. He concluded his WNO tenure after the 2015–2016 season.
In the United States, Koenigs made his first conducting appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2008 with Don Giovanni. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera as a substitute for James Levine in the new William Kentridge production, in November 2015, of Alban Berg's Lulu. In April 2019, he conducted La clemenza di Tito with the Metropolitan Opera.
- Summary of Lothar Koenigs remarks during Interval of Radio 3 in Concert: Lothar Koenigs conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Bruckner's Seventh Symphony. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Tuesday 28 February 2017.
- "German appointed WNO musical director". Cardiff What's On. 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-24.[permanent dead link]
- Rupert Christiansen (2007-02-19). "Electrifying night of pain and politics". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Rupert Christiansen (2009-09-17). "Lothar Koenigs interview". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Karen Price (2009-09-26). "How Koenigs is working on his musical dream with the WNO". Western Mail. Retrieved 2011-11-13.
- Ivan Hewett (2009-09-17). "Proms 2010: Prom 2, Wagner's Meistersingers, WNO, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- "WNO announces new Music Director and new Conductor Laureate" (Press release). Welsh National Opera. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
- "The Listings". New York Times. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Anthony Tommasini (2015-11-06). "Review: Finding Beauty in a Wrenching 'Lulu' at the Met". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Radio 3 - Listen Live - BBC Sounds". www.bbc.co.uk.
- Lothar Koenigs at Groves Artists
| Generalmusikdirektor, Theater Osnabrück
| Music Director, Welsh National Opera