Dirk Kaftan


Music Director – Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Bonn Opera House


Dirk Kaftan has been the General Music Director of the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and Bonn Opera House since the summer of 2017. In addition to numerous concerts during the 2019/20 season, he will also be con-ducting Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and the premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s “Ein Brief” (A Letter). He continues to conduct successful series that have brought him together with artists such as Martin Grubinger and Rafik Schami, and looks forward to future projects with Gabriela Montero, Götz Alsmann and Kit Armstrong. He is the initiator and driving force behind a whole string of projects commemorating the city’s most famous son during the Beethoven anniversary year.

Kaftan’s repertoire is a broad one and ranges from rapturously received performances of Beethoven’s sym-phonies to Nono’s “Intolleranza 1960” and “The Merry Widow”, as well as various intercultural projects. Kaftan is a welcome guest at the world’s renowned concert halls, with recent highlights that include performances with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Ensemble Modern and a much-acclaimed rendition of “Tristan” at the Hannover State Opera House. He has been responsible for productions at the Vienna Volksoper and the Royal Danish Opera House in Copenhagen, and has also conducted a series of performances in Berlin and Dresden. In 2016, he conducted Miroslav Srnka’s “Make No Noise” at the Bregenz Festival.

Read more

Featured News

IMG Artists Congratulates its 2020 Opus Klassik Nominees

The 2020 Opus Klassik nominations are announced, and IMG Artists congratulates the extraordinary artists nominated for this prestigious honour. The awards will be announced and streamed on 18 October live from the Konzerthaus Berlin. For more information, please visit...


” With an excellent baton technique, Dirk Kaftan presents himself as an aggressive dramatist who put a new complexion on things, such as portraying Beethoven’s fourth symphony as an overwhelming “Sturm und Drang” piece.”

Kronen Zeitung, 24.09.2018

“Just as [Kaftan] martially leads the brilliantly disposed Beethoven Orchester Bonn (BOB) into the battle, so he unfolds the enchanting Wagnerian sonority in other places. Even in those greatly vulnerable passages, the BOB keeps perfect unity. Kaftan drives the Orchestra, draws big lines, and captures the audience’s attention with exciting details. No matter whether crashing plates, folkloric swaying or tender love lyric, never are the audible joy of the performance and impetuosity attained at the expense of technical security and precision.”

Gunild Lohmann

General-Anzeiger, 06.11.2018

More Reviews

“It’s a pity that such grandiose and elaborate performance in Bonn can only be experienced once. The audience in the opera house, that counted around 1000, was by all means deeply impressed as their cheers and standing ovations firmly showed.”

General-Anzeiger 12.11.2018

“The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn played with sultry intensity and maximum precision under Dirk Kaftan’s direction. Marellis concept wouldn’t have been as effective without the backing of such poetic and assertive conducting. The magic that was induced even before the overture made everyone anticipate great things and their expectations were met! The audience was all aflutter and gave cheering and rhythmically accentuated applause to all…”

Opernglas 12 2018

“Happy faces wherever one looks”

General-Anzeiger 21.01.2019

“The Beethoven Orchestra outgrows itself under the direction of Dirk Kaftan; strong title role debut of Aile Asszonyi”

“Great things happen in the pit where the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn outgrows itself under the direction of its general music director. The fact that Kaftan, one of the most exciting directors of his generation, provides a genuine bed for the singers of the stamina-leaching parts is nothing unusual for the people of Bonn and some are possibly already spoiled. However, with this “Elektra”, the bar is set even higher than before, putting the Beethoven Orchestra at the top class of German opera orchestras.”

Rhein-Zeitung, 12.03.2019

“The crowd of guests and the Beethoven Orchestra under the direction of general music director Dirk Kaftan made the evening a musical delectation; and everyone performed without any fee.”

General-Anzeiger, 13.05.2019