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 in 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 is especially celebrated for his interpretations of Romantic and post-Romantic symphonic and opera repertoire which are core to his musical identity.
Highlights of the forthcoming 2015-16 season include Mr. Runnicles’ debut appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) alongside guest conducting engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Staatskapelle Dresden. He leads two new productions at the Deutsche Oper (Janacek’s The Makropoulos Affair and Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio) in addition to nine revival titles. In summer 2015, Maestro Runnicles conducted a new production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the San Francisco Opera.
Prior posts include San Francisco Opera, where he was Music Director from 1992-2008 and during his tenure 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; Chief Conductor of New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s; and General Music Director of the Freiburg theater and orchestra from 1989-1993.
Mr. Runnicles’ extensive discography contains 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 most recent recording of Wagner arias with Jonas Kaufmann and the DOB orchestra won the 2013 Gramophone prize for best vocal recording.
Maestro Runnicles was appointed OBE in 2004 and holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.