One of today’s most versatile conductors, James Conlon has appeared with practically every major American and European orchestra since making his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. Through international tours, an extensive discography and countless television appearances, essays and lectures, he has forged a reputation as one of the most recognized interpreters worldwide.
James Conlon has been music director of the Los Angeles Opera since 2006 and principal conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI in Turin since 2016. He was principal conductor of the Paris Opéra from 1995 to 2004, general music director of the City of Cologne from 1989 to 2002 – and, hence, Kapellmeister of the Gürzenich Orchestra and general music director of the Cologne Opera – and principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 1983 to 1991. From 2005 to 2015 he was artistic director of the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
James Conlon made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1976 and since then has conducted more than 270 performances at the house. Guest engagements have taken him to the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Milan, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Rome Opera, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and elsewhere. Since taking up his post with the Los Angeles Opera, he has conducted almost 350 performances of over 50 operas by more than 20 different composers.
One focus of his performances in 2018/ 19 was the music of Giuseppe Verdi. In Los Angeles he conducted Don Carlo and La traviata, while in Vienna he was heard in Falstaff and Macbeth. He also conducted a concert performance of Giovanna d’Arco at the Teatro Real in Madrid and of the Messa da Requiem with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI. He is making his Salzburg Festival debut with concert performances of Luisa Miller.
James Conlon’s CDs and DVDs have received several awards. His recordings of two productions at the Los Angeles Opera – John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny – each received two Grammy Awards. Among his many honours are the title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and membership of the French Légion d’Honneur.