Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. In September 2006 he became Music Director of both the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He is Artistic Advisor of Gothenburg Symphony and will take on the role as their Principal Guest Conductor in September 2013. In September 2015 he will take up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the Bayerische Staatsoper Kent Nagano will conduct the World premiere of Jörg Widmann’s opera Babylon in the 12/13 season. Other new operas Nagano has commissioned for Bayerische Staatsoper are Das Gehege by Wolfgang Rihm and Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin. New productions include Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin, Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Schweigsame Frau, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, St François d’Assise, Wozzeck and Der Ring des Nibelungen. With the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Nagano has toured throughout Europe and in Japan and together they have recorded Bruckner Symphonies No. 4 and 7 released on Sony.
In September 2011, Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal inaugurated their new concert hall La Maison Symphonique. Highlights with the orchestra include the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler Symphonies, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner's Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold and Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, and concert series’ featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010-2011) and Boulez (2011-2012). Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to Japan, South Korea and Europe. Their recordings together include the Juno award winning album “Ideals of the French Revolution” with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 4 & 5. As part of a recording of all the Symphonies by Beethoven the Symphonies No. 3, 6, 8 and 9 have also been released by Sony Classical/Analekta.
As a much sought after guest conductor Nagano has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras including the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle and Leipzig Gewandhaus. He has an ongoing relationship with Sony Classical and has also recorded for Erato, Teldec, Pentatone and Deutsche Grammophon as well as Harmonia Mundi, winning Grammy awards for his recordings of Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Opéra National de Lyon, Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin.
A very important period in Nagano’s career was his time as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, from 2000 to 2006. He performed Schönberg’s Moses und Aron with the orchestra (in collaboration with Los Angeles Opera), and took them to the Salzburg Festival to perform both Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules and Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, as well as to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Parsifal and Lohengrin in productions by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Recordings with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Harmonia Mundi include repertoire as diverse as Bernstein’s Mass, Bruckner’s Third and Sixth Symphonies, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Wolf Lieder, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Schönberg’s Die Jakobsleiter and <>Friede auf Erden, as well as Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and Schönberg’s Variationen für Orchester, Op. 31. In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, Kent Nagano was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history.
Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years. His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris), Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera) and at the Salzburg Festival Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zemlinsky’s Der Koenig Kandaules, Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten and the World premiere of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. Other world premieres include Bernstein’s A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Eötvös (Three Sisters), and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Niño).
Born in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978-2008. His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint François d’Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor. Nagano’s success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998) and Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000).
Kent Nagano on medici.tv
Aug. 4, 2013, 5 p.m.
April 17, 2013, midnight