Grammy Award-winning conductor Kent Nagano recently returned to one of the first recital halls where he used a baton to communicate musical ideas. Visiting Knuth Hall on February 9 and 10, the famed maestro held two exclusive events open only to Music students.
Nagano (M.A., Music, ’76) helmed a Q&A session with students, followed by conducting a reading of a new version of Berlioz’s 19th-century opera Les Troyens.
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 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and became artistic adviser and principal guest conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in 2013. This year he takes up the position of general music director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a much sought after guest conductor, Nagano has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras including the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle and Leipzig Gewandhaus. He has an ongoing relationship with Sony Classical and has also 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 Opéra National de Lyon, Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra and Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin.
Kent Nagano became the first music director of Los Angeles Opera in 200,3 having already served as principal conductor for two years.
Photo: Hannah Anderson