Gérard Korsten

Principal Conductor, Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg-Bregenz

A renowned Mozartian, Gérard Korsten is highly regarded for his distinguished performances of Classical repertoire and Italian opera. Former Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, his exceptionally high artistic standards and particular knowledge of the ensemble as well as expertise in achieving distinct orchestral colours are recognized among orchestras and opera houses worldwide.

He works with Opéra national de Lyon, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala Milan, Glyndebourne Opera, Bregenz Festival, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Mozart Players, Leipzig Gewandhaus, BBC Scottish Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.


Gérard Korsten and Eva Mei perform with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo

09 Mar 2015

Gérard Korsten conducts an all-Mozart programme in Tokyo, with Italian soprano, Eva Mei. The Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo will perform two Mozart Symphonies: No. 35, the Haffner...

Gérard Korsten returns to Opéra de Lyon for Idomeneo

08 Jan 2015

Gérard Korsten returns to Opéra de Lyon to conduct eight performances of Mozart’s opera Idomeneo between January 23rd and February 6th.  He will be working with...

Gérard Korsten conducts opening concert of new Montforthaus cultural and convention centre, Feldkirch

16 Dec 2014

Gérard Korsten conducts the opening concert of the magnificent new Montforthaus cultural and convention centre in Feldkirch, Austria on January 2nd 2015. The programme, performed by the...

Gérard Korsten conducts the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg in Bregenz and Vienna

20 Nov 2014

Gérard Korsten conducts the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg in a varied programme of works by Fuchs, Breinschmid, Ravel and Poulenc on November 20th and 23rd at the...

Gérard Korsten returns to Australia

27 Oct 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to Australia in November, to conduct the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in a programme of works by Brahms, Haydn and Kodály. The concert, entitled 'Hungarian Dances...

Gérard Korsten returns to the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra

16 Oct 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to Sweden on October 23rd to conduct his former orchestra, the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra. The concert is entitled Spirituality and Peace, an apt theme in...

Gérard Korsten returns to Scandinavia

08 Sep 2014

Gérard Korsten conducts the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra on September 17th at the Helsingborg Konserthus, in a special lecture-concert focusing on Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, the ‘...

Gérard Korsten returns to the Bregenzer Festspiele

31 Jul 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to the Bregenzer Festspiele this month to conduct the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra in opera and concerts. The double bill of Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, based on...

Gérard Korsten tours China with the London Mozart Players

12 May 2014

Gérard Korsten embarks on a tour of China with the London Mozart Players on May 19th, performing in Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. The all-Mozart programme includes Symphony No. 38,...

Gérard Korsten returns to Gävle Symfoniorkester

02 May 2014

Gérard Korsten returns to Sweden to conduct the Gävle Symfoniorkester at the Gävle Konserthus on Friday May 9th. The programme includes Farrenc Overture No. 2, Schumann Symphony No.2 and the...

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“The orchestra’s Music Director Gérard Korsten has the swerve and pounce of a fencer on the podium, and the orchestra’s sound was similarly swift on its feet. But all this fleetness and gruff humour wasn’t at the expense of the music’s grandeur. Korsten seized hold of the climax towards the end of the 1st movement, where the harmony shoots dizzyingly upwards, and made sure we felt its amazing originality.”

The Telegraph, Ivan Hewitt (Beethoven Symphony No. 2, London Mozart Players) - May 2014

“Because the acoustics allowed no wayward tempos, due to the sensitive conducting of Gérard Korsten and a small cast of six first and second violins and a cello section, miracle sounds were heard.”

Salzburger Nachrichten (Camerata Salzburg, Schubert in Gastein Festival) - Sep 2013

“Gérard Korsten‘s energetic and risky conducting carries away musicians and audiences alike, however, providing a safe haven simultaneously. Under such care, the orchestra presents itself unleashed in the final movement of the symphony.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Martinu Symphony No 4 , Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg Bregenz) - Aug 2013

“The Musikkollegium was masterfully up to the difficulties of the piece (Xavier Dayer’s new work “Le temps entre deux minuits”) since the conductor Gérard Korsten led the orchestra in a very inspired and confident way.”

Landbote (Musikkollegium Winterthur) - Nov 2012

“It was amazing with how much commitment the Musikkollegium Winterthur performed Xavier Dayer’s latest work for the first time under the direction of Gérard Korsten. The sound of the strings especially was glowing in many nuances, rarely to be heard in Frank Martin’s late “Polyptyque” for solo violin and two small string orchestras.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Musikkollegium Winterthur) - Nov 2012

“A highly refreshing ‘Hommage à Mozart’, historically informed and the conductor motivated the orchestra in giving a pleasing, fluent and studied interpretation which examined every minor tonality and every rhythmic playfulness.”

Wiesbadener Kurier (Hesse State Orchestra Wiesbaden) - Nov 2012

“The South African born and student of Sandor Vegh, Gerard Korsten, led his orchestra to a new musical peak of achievement through the performance of Bruckner’s Fourth. They provided a brilliant ending to the traditional Sunday afternoon matinee concerts with Detlev-Glanert-glamour and Anton-Bruckner-power.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Vorarlberg Symphoniorchester Bregenz) - Aug 2012

“In the pit, Gérard Korsten’s conducting electrified the musicians at the Opera de Lyon”

Le Progrès (La Vie Parisienne at Opéra de Lyon ) Dec 2011 - Feb 2012

“The very lively conducting of Gérard Korsten brings in its wake, a top rate cast...Three hours of pleasure and an irreplaceable interpretation”

Diapason D'Or Award Le Nozze di Figaro (La Scala, 2006) Arthaus DVD - Jan 2012

“The impression of hyped-up energy was even more pronounced in the Beethoven symphony, where, in fairness, rhythmic drive is everything. Here the agile strings, alert woodwinds and pointed brass made a fully responsive team, with Korsten tapping the primal energies that make this masterpiece so exhilarating, no matter how many times one has heard it.  ”

The Chicago Tribune (Irish Chamber Orchestra US Tour) - Oct 2011

“Gerard Korsten showed an approach to the classical repertoire that was tight and urgent. The Eroica was driven with fire and energy.”

Irish Times (Irish Chamber Orchestra) - Sep 2009

“Maestro Gérard Korsten's conducting was brilliant, and the orchestra kept the tempi necessary to never let fun and verve move into the background.”

Arti e Spettacoli (La Fille du Régiment, Teatro Verdi, Trieste) - May 2009

“His truth-seeking mission closely reflects the aims of the production, revealing a high level of textural detail and musical-emotional characterisation. No single phrase is simply allowed to slip by, yet the overall effect remains visceral.”

The Stage (Così fan tutte, Glyndebourne Festival Opera) - Oct 2006

“The performance is beautifully held together by conductor Gérard Korsten, who brings a forward impetus to the music whenever he can, lingers on the lovely, melodic moments, and makes certain that Schubert's masterful orchestration is clear.”

Classics Today (Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella CD, Dynamic) - Aug 2004

“So we've got every right to be proud of our orchestra, this time performing under Principal Conductor Gérard Korsten, who directed with a steady hand but also with intense passion and sensitivity to the nuances of the music.”

Vorarlberger Nachrichten (Janecek, Szymanowski, Ravel) - Aug 2009

“At least there’s good news at the London Mozart Players - or there will be when the music director-designate, Gerard Korsten, gets stuck in next season. His concert at Croydon's Fairfield Halls last weekend was a statement of intent, and right from the start of Dvorak's Serenade for Strings he showed that he will be working the orchestra hard. No detail was overlooked..., as the South Africa-born conductor brought tautness and intensity to Dvorak's bracing tunes.”

The Telegraph - May 2010

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Gérard Korsten is Principal Conductor of the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg Bregenz. Born in South Africa, he began his career as a violinist after studying with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute and with Sándor Végh in Salzburg. Following his studies in the US and Europe he became Concertmaster and Assistant Music Director of the Camerata Salzburg and later Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from 1987-1996.

Korsten held positions of Principal Conductor of the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra before he was appointed Music Director of the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari from 1999-2005. In Cagliari he conducted the first Italian performances of Richard Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena, Weber’s Euryanthe, Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet and Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella, as well as the productions of the core operatic repertoire including Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Tosca, Aïda, The Barber of Seville and Don Pasquale. In 2009 he was appointed Music Director of the London Mozart Players, the position he relinquished at the end of last season.

Gérard Korsten has appeared in the most notable opera houses and concert halls around Europe including Teatro La Scala Milan (Le nozze di Figaro), Maggio Musicale Florence (Così fan tutte), Teatro Reggio di Parma (La sonnambula), Teatro Lirico Verdi Trieste (Don Pasquale and La fille du régiment), Opéra de Lyon (Ariadne auf Naxos, Henze’s L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe, Siegfried, La Traviata and La Vie Parisienne), Royal Swedish Opera (Don Giovanni), Netherlands Opera (Così fan tutte), English National Opera (Aïda), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Albert Herring) and the Lincoln Centre New York.

His past symphonic engagements have included concerts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre National de Lyon, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai Turin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Swedish Radio Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Gérard Korsten’s recordings feature CDs of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade and Souvenir de Florence with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Deutsche Grammophon, Die ägyptische Helena and Euryanthe and DVDs of Alfonso und Estrella and Don Pasquale with the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.  His 2011 DVD recording of Le Nozze di Figaro at La Scala has been awarded a Diapason D’Or and was Critic’s Choice in the Opera News.

Recent highlights have included debuts with the Deutsche Oper Berlin (La Traviata) and the Hungarian State Opera (Don Pasquale), BBC Scottish Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and returns to Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Camerata Salzburg, Gavle Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players on tour in China.

In the 2014/15 season Gérard Korsten brings Vorarlberg Symphoniorchester Bregenz to Vienna Musikverein and returns to Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and to Lyon Opera for a new production of Idomeneo


March 2015