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. Since September 2006 he has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, a contract extended until 2020. He also became Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in September 2013. In 2015, he will take up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he was General Music Director from 2006 to 2013, Kent Nagano commissioned new operas such as Babylon by Jörg Widmann, Das Gehege by Wolfgang Rihm and Alice in Wonderland by Unsuk Chin
Born in California 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. 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). From 2000-2006 Nagano was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and in 2003 he became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years. From 2006 to 2013
As a much sought-after guest conductor he has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras including the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic orchestras, Chicago Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony. His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Saariaho’s L’amour de loin (Salzburg Festival), and Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris). He has recorded for Sony, 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, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin with Deutsches Symhonie-Orchester.