Kent Nagano leaves Munich post

Nagano to quit directorship of Bavarian State Opera

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The music director of the Bavarian State Opera, Kent Nagano, has announced that he is not renewing his contract beyond 2013 and intends to leave Munich.

‘Because of cultural policy developments in the last months in Munich – at the State Theatre at Gärtnerplatz and at the Munich Philharmonic – and their results, I have decided not to be available for a contract extension as music director of the Bavarian State Opera after the summer of 2013,’ he said in a statement to the German media.

The 58-year-old US conductor has lead the Bavarian State Opera, in addition to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, since his appointment in 2006. He has indicated that his decision is to prevent ‘speculation and friction’ that would ‘damage all those involved and be unjust to the noble, singular tradition of the Bavarian State Opera, and the reputation of Munich and its residents’.

Nagano is the latest musical heavyweight to leave a post in the city. Last October Christian Thielemann left his position as conductor of the Munich Philharmonic to take up a post at the Staatskapelle Dresden, after a dispute over renewing his contract. And in recent months Ulrich Peters, the artistic director of the State Theatre at Gärtnerplatz has also stood down.

Nagano has received critical acclaim as a conductor with many productions in Munich. He distinguishes himself in a recent production of Wagner’s Lohengrin with the Bavarian State Opera, with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, that has just been released on DVD.

Neil McKim

Related links:
Christian Thielemann to leave Munich Philharmonic
CD Review: Kent Nagano conducts the Bavarian State Orchestra