Dennis Russell Davies’ activities as opera and orchestral conductor, and as pianist and chamber musician, are characterized by an extensive repertory stretching from pre-Baroque to the latest music of our time. Widely considered to be one of the most innovative and adventurous conductors/programmers in the classical music world, Davies has successfully challenged and inspired audiences on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in Japan. He is noted for exciting, well structured concerts and for his close working relationships with such varied composers as Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, John Cage, Philip Glass, Heinz Winbeck, Aaron Copland, Lou Harrison, Laurie Anderson, Arvo Pärt, Hans Werner Henze, Kurt Schwertsik, Thomas Larcher, Balduin Sulzer, and Manfred Trojahn.

After first appointments as Music Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the American Composers Orchestra, which he led for 25 years, Davies moved to Europe as General Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, then Opera Bonn and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra. He subsequently led the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra Basel. In 2013, during his long and successful tenure in Linz as Chief Conductor of the Linz Opera and Bruckner Orchester, Davies inaugurated the new Linzer Musiktheater conducting the World Premiere of Philip Glass’/Peter Handke’s “Spuren der Verirrten” and Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.”

Since 2018 Dennis Russell Davies is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Filharmonie Brno. In Autumn 2020 he assumes the position Chief Conductor of the MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig.

As guest conductor in the USA, he has appeared with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, New York and Cleveland. In Europe he has worked regularly with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Concertgebeouworkest Amsterdam and has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra Filharmonica della Scala, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Firenze, as well as the Hamburg and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras.

Recent opera engagements include a new production of Peter Eötvös‘ “Tri Sestry” in Frankfurt and multiple performances of “Salome” and “Wozzeck” at the Vienna State Opera. He has conducted new productions at the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Hamburg and Bavarian State Operas, the Opera National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Teatro Real Madrid – a total of more than 140 new productions by many of the theater world‘s most important stage directors.

Dennis Russell Davies‘ rich discography includes complete recordings of the symphonies of Bruckner and Philip Glass (Bruckner Orchester Linz), Haydn (Stuttgarter Kammerorchester) and Arthur Honegger (Sinfonieorchester Basel). With his wife and duo partner Maki Namekawa he has recorded extensively, including works by Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovitch, Philip Glass, and Stravinsky (original four-hand versions of “Le Sacre de Printemps”, “Firebird”, and “Petrouchka”).

Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1944, Davies studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School in New York. From 1997-2012 he was professor for orchestral conducting at the University Mozarteum Salzburg; beginning in September 2020 he will be guest professor at the Janacek Academy of Music and performing Arts in Brno.

Dennis Russell Davies is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded the German Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Austrian Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst, as well as the title “Commandeur des Arts et Lettres” bestowed by the French Government.

Serving as Artistic Advisor to Dennis Russell Davies is Dr Heribert Schröder, the Artistic Director of the Bruckner Orchester Linz for many years and since March 2019 the General Secretary of the Oberösterreichische Theater und Orchester GmbH.

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