The Kennedy Center

Donald Runnicles


Conductor Donald Runnicles is concurrently the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Chief Conductor the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival (Jackson, Wyoming). He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Runnicles enjoys close and enduring relationships with several of the most significant opera companies and symphony orchestras, and he is especially celebrated for his interpretations of Romantic and post-Romantic symphonic and opera repertoire which are core to his musical identity.

His previous posts include Music Director of the San Francisco Opera (1992-2008), during which he led world premieres of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, Conrad Susa's Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and the U.S. premiere of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise; Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City (2001-2007); and General Music Director of the Theater Freiburg and Orchestra (1989-1993).

Recent and upcoming highlights include guest conducting engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and Staatskapelle Dresden. In the 2016-17 season, he also leads two new productions at the Deutsche Oper (Britten's Death in Venice and Mozart's Così fan tutte) and Wagner's complete Ring cycle, in addition to seven revival titles.

Mr. Runnicles' extensive discography includes complete recordings of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Britten’s Billy Budd, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. His recording of Wagner arias with tenor Jonas Kaufmann and the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin won the 2013 Gramophone prize for Best Vocal Recording, and his recording of Janácek's Jenufa with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin was nominated for a 2015 GRAMMY award for Best Opera Recording.

Maestro Runnicles was appointed OBE in 2004. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

October 2016
Donald Runnicles - Conductor