James Gaffigan


James Gaffigan has been Music Director of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra since 2011; he also serves as First Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Hilversum. Born in 1979 in New York, Gaffigan studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Shepherd School of Music in Houston. He began his career as an assistant to Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland and as Associate Conductor with the San Francisco Symphony. Gaffigan’s international breakthrough came in 2004 when he won first prize at the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition in Frankfurt am Main. Since then he has been collaborating with many acclaimed European orchestras, including the Munich Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Czech Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, and the Orchestre de Paris. In the United States, he has guest conducted the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics. In the 2017-18 season, he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam with Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and appeared at Chicago Lyric Opera conducting Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Previous engagements in the realm of music theater have taken him to the Glyndebourne Festival, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Bavarian Staatsoper. In the 2018-19 season, he will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with a series of performances of Puccini’s La bohème; he will also appear for the first time at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, where he will conduct Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. James Gaffigan’s discography encompasses works by Rihm, Dvořák, and Brahms; he is currently recording a complete Prokofiev symphony cycle in Hilversum.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 2012 with Rihm’s Nähe fern and Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, with Hélène Grimed as the soloist.

July 2018