Valencia’s Palau de Les Arts Announces New Music Director

James Gaffigan will assume the role with Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, effective as of September 1, 2021

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(Photo credit: Vera Hartmann)

The American conductor will be directing two opera productions and two symphonic programs each season across the next four years with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, the opera house's resident orchestra.

In addition to this position, he was recently appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Opera and Music Director of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra, beginning this July. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. 

"We are very happy that James Gaffigan has accepted our invitation to join Les Arts as Music Director," said Les Arts' Artistic Director, Jesús Iglesias Noriega. "We first collaborated at Dutch National Opera for a production of 'Porgy and Bess' and appreciated his qualities which gave me the trust to invite him to join the team at Palau de Les Arts. He is one of the leading conductors of his generation and will surely contribute to the development of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana."

"It is an honor and a privilege to take on the role of Music Director at Palau de les Arts, Reina Sofía," said Gaffigan in a press release. "The orchestra is truly one of the best I have worked with and has the potential to be among the greatest in the world. I say that with no exaggeration.

"I look forward to preserving grand opera, exploring more diverse repertoire, great concerts in Valencia and its region, and trying to build an ever deeper relationship with the community.

"Although the orchestra is very diverse, we mustn’t forget the large number of incredible musicians from Spain," he continued. "This is something that all of Valenciana can celebrate and be proud of. Taking care of your own while welcoming other people into your great region. I believe the Palau de les Arts is a perfect example of this mindset."