James Gaffigan

James Gaffigan is one of the most outstanding young American conductors of his generation. He is Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and from the beginning of this season, will start a new relationship with the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne, as Principal Guest Conductor.


In addition to these titled positions, James is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Bournemouth Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Sao Paolo Symphony and the Qatar Philharmonic. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He enjoys regular return visits with many of these orchestras.


This season, he will make his debuts with the Gothenburg Symphony, RSO Berlin, BBC Symphony and returns to the Detroit, Toronto and Juilliard Symphony Orchestras as well as the Bournemouth Symphony, Munich and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras - these latter for two separate periods in the season.


As an opera conductor, James Gaffigan made his debut last season at the Vienna State Opera conducting La Bohème and was immediately reinvited to conduct Don Giovanni this season. James also continues his relationship with the Glyndebourne Festival. Last summer, he conducted a production of La Cenerentola and will return for performances of Falstaff this season. James had previously led a production of Falstaff for Glyndebourne-on-Tour and returned to the main festival in 2010 to share a production of Cosi fan tutte with Sir Charles Mackerras. In the States, James has conducted Don Giovanni and Marriage of Figaro at the Aspen Music Festival and has conducted The Marriage of Figaro at Houston Opera.


Born in New York City, James was the Associate Conductor with the San Francisco Symphony and prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. His international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. James Gaffigan lives in Lucerne with his wife, the writer Lee Taylor Gaffigan, and their daughter Sofia.


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