James Conlon has been LA Opera's Richard Seaver Music Director since 2006.
Since his debut that year with La Traviata, he has conducted 61 different operas and 403 performances to date with the company. Most recently, he conducted the 2020 company premiere of The Anonymous Lover (L'Amant Anonyme) by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
One of today’s most versatile and respected conductors, he has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire. He has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. He has conducted more than 270 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Through worldwide touring, an extensive discography and videography, numerous essays and commentaries, frequent television appearances and guest speaking engagements, Mr. Conlon is one of classical music’s most recognized interpreters.
In 2016, he became Principal Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of the RAI in Torino. He previously was Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony (2005-2015), Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera (1995-2004), General Music Director of the City of Cologne (1989-2002), Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1983-91) and Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival (1979-2016). He has won three Grammy Awards and was awarded France’s Légion d’Honneur.
Also in the U.S. this season, Mr. Conlon continues his commitment to working with young musicians, both at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach (with Pinchas Zukerman as soloist) and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where he conducts Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
Currently in his third season as Principal Conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Conlon focuses on 20th-century Italian composers Giuseppe Martucci, Leone Sinigaglia, and Ottorino Respighi, as well as works by Mahler, Martinů, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Wagner, and Zemlinsky. In addition, he leads the Verdi Requiem, and The Creation by Haydn. Mr. Conlon’s symphonic repertoire this season also includes three Shostakovich symphonies with three different orchestras: No. 7 (“Leningrad”), marking a return to the Gürzenich Orchester in Cologne; No. 9 with RAI National Symphony Orchestra; and No. 12 (“The Year of 1917”) with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Galicia.
Mr. Conlon focuses on the works of Verdi this season, and conducts over 35 performances of seven works in the span of twelve months, including his 500th performance of the great Italian composer’s music. In addition to conducting Verdi in Los Angeles and Vienna, Mr. Conlon returns to the Wiener Staatsoper, after making his debut with the opera house conducting Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina in 2015, to lead performances of Falstaff in June 2018 and January 2019, and Macbeth in May 2019. He also leads the Teatro Real (Madrid) premiere of the composer’s Giovanna d’Arco in concert (with Plácido Domingo) and the Messa da Requiem with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra.
Learn more at JamesConlon.com.