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(Photo credit: Vera Hartmann)

Komische Oper Berlin Appoints New Music Director

American conductor James Gaffigan will assume the role, beginning in the 2023/24 season


James Gaffigan’s contract with the Komische Oper Berlin will run for four years until the summer of 2027. Prior to his start, he will conduct a symphony concert with the opera’s orchestra during the 2022/23 season.

In June 2021, Gaffigan finished his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester — a position he held for ten years. He was then appointed as Music Director of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, with which he is currently in his inaugural season.

He additionally serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra & Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.

The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, and Bayerische Staatsoper are amongst the operatic orchestras he has worked with.

In Berlin specifically, he led performances at the Deutsche Oper, and on January 9, 2022, he will lead the Staatskapelle Berlin in a concert at the Pierre Boulez Saal.

"When I came to Berlin for the first time, I immediately felt that the city had something in common with my hometown of New York City — a special openness," Gaffigan shared. "Both cities are open to all people, regardless of cultural or social origin, regardless of gender or identity. And in the heart of this city lies the Komische Oper Berlin, a unique cultural center that is a place of refuge for people from all over the world and — as required — offers concerts or musical theater, entertainment or stimulation, reflection or inspiration.

"I am proud to be able to shape this institution in the future as General Music Director and a member of the artistic management team, together with the wonderful orchestra and the entire ensemble," he added.

“James Gaffigan is a perfect fit for the artistic profile of the Komische Oper Berlin," said the organization's Co-Directors Susanne Moser and Philip Bröking. "He is a team player, young and curious, yet experienced and with a meticulous sense of stylistic diversity. His broad and varied repertoire as well as his multi-faceted interests — including musical education — will be of great value to us in the years to come and a great help to master the various challenges related to the renovation of Komische Oper Berlin’s home theater."

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