© Sergio Veranes Studio
Kent Nagano was born in California and began his career at the Boston Opera before becoming the assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was musical director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 2008, musical director of the Lyon Opera from 1988 to 1998 and associate guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1998. He was also musical director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester from 1991 to 2000, its principal conductor from 2001 to 2004, then music director of the Los Angeles Opera until 2006 and musical director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2020. In addition, he was musical director of Berlin’s German Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2006—and today is its honorary conductor. He then became the musical director of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, from 2006 to 2013, before becoming the principal guest conductor of Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Since 2015, he has been the musical director of the Hamburg Staatsoper and principal conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Maestro Nagano has been invited to conduct many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the New York and Vienna philharmonic Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. He has also made guest appearances in some of the world’s great opera houses, namely, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Dresden’s Semperoper and the Paris Opera, where he conducted the world premiere performance of Saint François d’Assise in 1983 as well as Wozzeck, Elektra, Dialogues des carmélites, Cardillac and Werther. Enjoying a solid reputation internationally, he boasts an extensive repertoire that ranges from the baroque to the contemporary. He is also keen to present little-known works and to explore novel ways of interpreting the established repertoire. More Specifically, he conducted the world premieres of Jörg Widman’s Babylon and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland in Munich. His recordings of Busoni’s Doktor Faust (Lyon Opera, 2000) and Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin (2009) with the Berlin-based German Symphony Orchestra each won a Grammy. He also received a Juno Award for Beethoven: Ideals of the French Revolution (2008) and an Echo Klassic Award for L’Aiglon (2015), both of which were recorded with the OSM. In 2018, again with the OSM, he recorded A Quiet Place.
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