Kent Nagano

General Music Director, Hamburgische-Staatsoper

Music Director, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Advisor, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence, Kent Nagano 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 the established repertoire.  In addition to his positions in Hamburg, Montreal and Gothenburg recent and future guest engagements include Symphonieorchester des Bayerischer Rundfunk, London Symphony, Tonhalle Zurich, DSO Berlin and Orchestre dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Kent Nagano records for DECCA. 

Kent Nagano tours Germany with Göteborgs Symfoniker

03 Nov 2015

Kent Nagano, Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of Göteborgs Symfoniker, is touring with the orchestra from 7 until 10 November 2015 in Germany. Soloists of the...

Kent Nagano’s season opening performance from Hamburg State Opera streamed live

18 Sep 2015

ARTE concert worldwide streaming from Hamburg, in cooperation with Binnenalster Filmfest and City Management Hamburg: Berlioz’ Les Troyens on 19 September at 8.45 pm (MESZ):


Kent Nagano: Prelude in Hamburg, season start in Montréal and Germany Tour with Göteborgs Symfoniker

09 Sep 2015

In September 2015 Kent Nagano begins his first season as General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra.


Kent Nagano conducts the premiere of L’Aiglon: son of Napoleon

17 Mar 2015

The OSM, director Daniel Roussel and Music Director Kent Nagano bring L’Aiglon, a rare and unknown piece from Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert on stage.


Kent Nagano talks to Tom Service on BBC Radio 3

04 Mar 2015

Kent Nagano speaks to Tom Service for BBC Radio 3's Music Matters during his recent visit to London to conduct the BBC Symphony.


Kent Nagano releases CD of rare French trumpet concertos

29 Jan 2015

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Paul Merkelo – Principal Trumpet with the orchestra for over 20 years – have recorded rarely played French trumpet concertos that are renowned for being...

Kent Nagano returns to London with the BBC Symphony

07 Jan 2015

After more than 5 years, Kent Nagano is returning to London on 31 January 2015 to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Wolfgang Rihm’s “Tutuguri” – a work for large orchestra,...

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal & Kent Nagano: Tour to Asia

02 Sep 2014

Together with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Kent Nagano will embark on a major tour to Japan and China in October with concerts in Tokyo...

Three new CD releases for Kent Nagano

02 Sep 2014

There will be three new CDs being released in October under the baton of Kent Nagano. Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 “The Poetry of Freedom” will be published by Sony Classical as the last...

Kent Nagano book publication: "Expect the Unexpected!"

02 Sep 2014

Kent Nagano’s book "Erwarten Sie Wunder!" (Expect the unexpected) will be published on 6 October by the Berlin Verlag. Based on his own biography, Kent Nagano discusses the...

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Kent 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 Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in 2013.  In 2015 he will take up the position of General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra.

At the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he was General Music Director from 2006 – 2013, he commissioned new operas from Jörg Widmann Babylon, Wolfgang Rihm Das Gehege and Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland and new productions there have included Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Schweigsame Frau, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, St François d’Assise, Wozzeck, George Benjamin’s Written on Skin and Der Ring des Nibelungen.  With the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Nagano has toured throughout Europe and in Japan and together they have recorded Bruckner Symphonies No. 4, 7 and 8.

In September 2011, Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal inaugurated their new concert hall La Maison Symphonique.  Highlights with the orchestra include the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner's Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold, Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, and concert series featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010-2011) and Boulez (2011-2012).  Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to Japan, South Korea, Europe and South America.  Their recordings together include the Juno award winning album “Ideals of the French Revolution” with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5, as part of a recording of all the Symphonies by Beethoven. The Symphonies No. 3, 6, 8 & 9 have also been released by Sony Classical/Analekta.

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.

A very important period in Nagano’s career was his time as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, from 2000-2006.  He performed Schönberg’s Moses und Aron with the orchestra (in collaboration with Los Angeles Opera), and took them to the Salzburg Festival to perform both Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules and Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, as well as to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with Parsifal and Lohengrin in productions by Nikolaus Lehnhoff.  Recordings with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Harmonia Mundi include repertoire as diverse as Bernstein’s Mass, Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 6, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Wolf Lieder, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Schönberg’s Die Jakobsleiter and Friede auf Erden, as well as Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Schönberg’s Variationen für Orchester Op. 31.  In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, Kent Nagano was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history.

Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years.  His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra national de Paris), Dialogues des Carmélites (Metropolitan Opera) and at the Salzburg Festival Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zemlinsky’s Der Koenig Kandaules, Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten and the world premiere of Saariaho’s L’amour de loin.  Other world premieres include Bernstein’s A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Eötvös (Three Sisters), and John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Niño).

Born in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978-2008.  His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint François d’Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor.  Nagano’s success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998) and Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000).


November 2015