Kent Nagano has established a reputation as a gifted interpreter of both the operatic and symphonic repertoire. He is officially the eighth music director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the 2008-2009 season is his third with the orchestra in that capacity. In September 2006, Mr. Nagano also took over from Zubin Mehta as General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
Born in California, was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra since 1978, and concluded his tenure there in May 2009. He will assume the title of Conductor Laureate, in addition to continuing his relationship with the organization as Artistic Director of the Berkeley Akademie, a new program dedicated to repertoire for small orchestra. Kent Nagano’s early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
A new and important phase of Mr. Nagano’s career opened when he became Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in 2000. In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, he 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. 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 and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
He has 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 the Opéra National de Lyon, and Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra.