James Gaffigan

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention as one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. He is chief conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne.

In addition to these titled positions, Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, Gaffigan's guest engagements have included the Munich, London and Rotterdam Philharmonics; Dresden Staatskapelle; Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin); Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; RSO Berlin; BBC Symphony Orchestra; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Czech Philharmonic; Zurich Tonhalle; Bournemouth Symphony; Camerata Salzburg; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras; Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony; Sydney Symphony; and the Qatar Philharmonic. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the 2014-2015 season, he returns to the Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de Paris, BBC Symphony and the orchestras of Cleveland, Vancouver and Los Angeles, among others.

As an opera conductor, Gaffigan made his Vienna State Opera debut in 2011-2012 conducting La Bohème and was immediately invited back to conduct Don Giovanni the following season.  Gaffigan continues his relationship with the Glyndebourne Festival – in 2012, he conducted a production of La Cenerentola and returned for performances of Falstaff in summer 2013. He made his professional opera debut at the Zurich Opera in 2005 conducting La Bohème. In the States, he has conducted Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro at both the Aspen Music Festival and the Houston Opera. Highlights of the coming season in opera feature performances of Salome with Hamburg Opera, Rigoletto with Netherlands Philharmonic and La Traviata with Norwegian Opera.

Gaffigan's first recording with the Lucerne Symphony for Harmonia Mundi, an all-Wolfgang Rihm disc, received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, while the second recording for Harmonia Mundi will be an all-Dvoƙák disc featuring Symphony No. 6 and the American Suite.  He is also in the process of recording the complete Prokofiev symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

In 2009, Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as associate conductor of the San Francisco Symphony where he assisted Michael Tilson Thomas, led subscription concerts and was artistic director of the orchestra's Summer festival. Prior to that appointment, he was the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. Gaffigan's international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. He lives in Lucerne with his wife and their two children. For more information please visit