back to top

Biography 624 words

Download biography as pdf Download biography as word doc

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding young American conductors working today. In January 2010, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and from the beginning of this season, will start a regular relationship with the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne, as Principal Guest Conductor. In addition to subscription concerts, this newly created position will include regular opera productions with Opera Cologne. In addition to these titled positions, James is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Bournemouth Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Sao Paolo Symphony and the Qatar Philharmonic. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He enjoys regular return visits with many of these orchestras.

read more...

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding young American conductors working today. In January 2010, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and in September 2013 he will take up the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne. This newly created position includes both subscription concerts and regular opera productions with Opera Cologne.

In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Dresden Staatskapelle, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, RSO Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Bournemouth Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Qatar Philharmonic. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

This season, Mr Gaffigan will make his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Oslo Philharmonic and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras. He will also return to the MDR Leipzig, Sydney Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras. In America, he returns to the New World Symphony and to Toronto, Atlanta, St. Louis, Houston and Cincinnati.

As an opera conductor, James Gaffigan made his Vienna State Opera debut in 2011/12 conducting La Bohème and was immediately invited back to conduct Don Giovanni last season.  Mr Gaffigan continues his relationship with the Glyndebourne Festival – in 2012, he conducted a production of La Cenerentola and returned for performances of Falstaff this summer 2013. He made his professional opera debut at the Zurich Opera in 2005 conducting La Bohème. In the States, he has conducted Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro at the Aspen Music Festival and The Marriage of Figaro at the Houston Opera.

James Gaffigan’s first recording with the Lucerne Symphony for Harmonia Mundi, an all-Wolfgang Rihm disc, received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, while the second recording for Harmonia Mundi will be an all-Dvorak disc featuring Symphony No. 6 and the American Suite.  He is also in the process of recording the complete Prokofiev symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and the nine Beethoven symphonies with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra for Naxos.

Born in New York City in 1979, Mr Gaffigan attended the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, where he earned his Masters of Music in conducting. He was also chosen to study at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

In 2009, Mr Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony where he assisted Michael Tilson Thomas, led subscription concerts and was Artistic Director of the orchestra’s Summer festival. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. James Gaffigan's international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. He lives in Lucerne with his wife, the writer Lee Taylor Gaffigan, and their daughter Sofia. For more information please visit www.jamesgaffigan.com.

Season: 2013/14

back to top

Photos

back to top

Reviews

"There is little doubt that James Gaffigan is . . . well on his way to being one of the greats of his generation."

TheatreJones, April 2012

"Gaffigan is another gifted young American conductor … He's clear in his beat and gestures, and everything about his conducting tells orchestra players how he feels about the music and what they are to express. Let's have Gaffigan back for more such adventures at Grant Park – and the CSO, for that matter."

Chicago Tribune, July 2012

"Gaffigan is one of those rare conductors ... who not only shows you how a piece should sound, but what it means."

Toronto Globe and Mail

"This is an absolute knockout ... James Gaffigan's conducting is thrilling in its precision and control."

The Guardian, May 2012

"... tying the whole show neatly together is the sparky conducting of ... James Gaffigan. He cooks up a great storm scene, some brilliantly zingy ensembles - and an all-important dash of fairytale sugar."

The Times, May 2012