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Sir Donald Runnicles OBE

Principal Guest Conductor


Conductor Donald Runnicles is the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival (Jackson, Wyoming), as well as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is also Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, having served as its Chief Conductor from 2009 to 2016.

In 2018 Donald Runnicles was announced as Principal Guest Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Commencing in 2019 the Orchestra will engage in a three-year artistic project Music of Inspiration, under his direction.

Donald Runnicles also enjoys close and enduring relationships with several other of the most significant opera companies and symphony orchestras. His previous posts include Music Director of the San Francisco Opera (1992–2008), 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).

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

Donald 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.