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  • WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin on Così fan tutte.


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Philippe Auguin Philippe Auguin

Music Director

Among the most sought-after conductors of his generation, French maestro Philippe Auguin has led an extraordinary career directing masterworks in the most prestigious opera houses and orchestras in the world.  He serves as Music Director of both Washington National Opera (WNO) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice.

Maestro Auguin's 2013-2014 season is brimming with highly anticipated operatic performances.  He opens WNO's season leading Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in September, and returns in May for ten performances of Die Zauberflöte.  Mo. Auguin makes his seasonal debut at the Metropolitan Opera in January with Madama Butterfly, and will perform Strauss' Arabella later in the season.  His seasonal debut with Vienna Staatsoper takes place in December with La bohème, followed by performances of Tosca in June.

Maestro Auguin's 2013-2014 repertoire includes several symphonic performances.  In October, he leads the NHK Symphony Orchestra in celebration of Wagner's bicentennial with a concert of opera overtures and excerpts.  Mo. Auguin performs multiple concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice throughout the season, including Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C Major, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G Major, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E Major, among others.

Philippe Auguin's dual role as Music Director of WNO and Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice was preceded by his conducting masterworks in both organizations.  He made an explosive debut with  WNO in 2009, leading concert performances of Wagner's Götterdämmerung.  His phenomenal success prompted Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra to appoint Maestro Auguin to the position of Music Director, a role he assumed in 2010 with a production of Salome.  In the 2011-2012 WNO season, Mo. Auguin conducted Lucia di Lammermoor, Cosi fan tutte, and Nabucco.  The following season, he led performances of Don Giovanni and Manon Lescaut.  As Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Mo. Auguin has undertaken the programming of the finest musical works, which include Stravinsky's Firebird, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and Bartók's Opus 12, among others. 

Maestro Auguin is a consummate conductor with an extensive history performing with prominent opera houses and orchestras around the world.  In recent seasons, he has appeared at the Met for Tosca; the Vienna Staatsoper for Die Tote Stadt and La Forza del Destino; Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin for Tannhäuser; Opera Australia for La Traviata; Teatro Massimo di Palermo for Simon Boccanegra and Die Gezeichneten; Savonlinna Opera Festival for Mefistofele; Teatro Colón Buenos Aires for Manon; and Opéra de Nice for Parsifal.  Mo. Auguin celebrated highly acclaimed debuts conducting Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall; Schumann's Symphony No. 1 with the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Brahms' Symphony No. 2 with the Vienna Symphony; and Strauss' Ein Heldenleben with the Munich Philharmonic.  In 2005, he brought the Nuremberg production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen to the International Beijing Music Festival, marking the first-ever performances of the complete Ring in China.  He returned to the Beijing Music Festival in 2008, conducting Tannhäuser with the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.  Mo. Auguin has made appearances at numerous other prestigious festivals, including the Salzburg Festival, where he conducted the opening Mozart matinee in 1991 and Beethoven's Fidelio with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1996.

Other exceptional performances include: the Met's Doktor Faust, Die Frau ohne Schatten, La Bohème, Lohengrin, and Tosca; LA Opera's Doktor Faust; Opera Australia's Tannhäuser and Capriccio; Le Grand Théâtre de Genève's Der Rosenkavalier; and the New Tokyo Opera's Tannhäuser.  Mo. Auguin continues to conduct leading orchestras, such as Royal Philharmonic, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Czech Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, Tokyo Philharmonic, and China Philharmonic, among many others.

Philippe Auguin's broad symphonic repertoire spans the canon, reaching from early music to the emblematic works of Bruckner, Strauss, Stravinsky and Bartok, and the complete symphonic works of Gustav Mahler.  Also renowned for his work with contemporary composers, Mo. Auguin has conducted pieces by Hans-Werner Henze, Peter Maxwell Davies, Aribert Reimann, Peter Ruzicka, and Pierre Boulez.

Born in France in 1961, Philippe Auguin studied music at the Conservatoire a Rayonnement Régional de Nice, which was followed by years of study in Vienna and Florence.  Mo. Auguin was influenced by two impressive personalities; he was assistant conductor of Herbert von Karajan and worked closely with Sir Georg Solti.  Mo. Auguin was awarded the Cross of Federal Merit of the German Republic in 2005 and was made the Honorary Consul of the French Republic in 2002.

August 2013


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