James Gaffigan

Chief Conductor, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor, Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne

Biography

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 American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Since taking up this position he has made a very significant impact on the Orchestra ‘s profile both nationally and internationally with a number of highly successful tours and recordings. In recognition of this success James’s contract has been further extended until 2022. He also holds positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and he was appointed the first Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him.

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. The 2015/16 season included debuts with the New York Philharmonic and Bayerische Staatsoper, in a production of Don Giovanni and other return engagements included the Munich and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Dallas Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, and the Vienna Staatsoper where he conducted Le Nozze di Figaro.

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Reviews

“Gaffigan and the orchestra collaborated in a performance that made a well-worn piece sound brand-new and wonderful…You couldn’t ask for more precise beats from a conductor, but Gaffigan also conveyed the real import of the music, and how it fit together. I hope we see him, and Abduraimov, again soon.”

The Dallas Morning News

“Lightness, transparency, geniality, warmth and a keen sense of symphonic inexorability – these and other admirable qualities keep the first movement of Gaffigan’s Dvořák Sixth consistently engaging. ”

Gramophone Magazine

More Reviews

“Gaffigan and the orchestra collaborated in a performance that made a well-worn piece sound brand-new and wonderful…You couldn’t ask for more precise beats from a conductor, but Gaffigan also conveyed the real import of the music, and how it fit together. I hope we see him, and Abduraimov, again soon.”

The Dallas Morning News, February 2016 

“Lightness, transparency, geniality, warmth and a keen sense of symphonic inexorability – these and other admirable qualities keep the first movement of Gaffigan’s Dvořák Sixth consistently engaging. ”

Gramophone Magazine, September 2014 

“…there is something especially winning about the way Gaffigan and the orchestra dedine the music’s character, bringing rhythmic zest and hearty brilliance to the Bohemian ‘furiant’…”

The Telegraph, October 2014 (Dvorak Symphony No.6 CD Review) 

” I can’t wait to hear more.”

Gramophone Magazine, September 2014 

“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