Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him.
In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Vienna Symphoniker Dresden Staatskapelle, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Berlin, RSO Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Sydney Symphony. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others.
During the 13/14 season, Mr Gaffigan made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris and Oslo Philharmonic. In the 14/15 season he returns to the BBC Symphony, Orchestre National de France, the Czech Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestras, and the Dallas and Detroit Symphonies.
As an opera conductor, James Gaffigan made his Vienna State Opera debut in 2011/12 La Bohème and was immediately invited back to conduct Don Giovanni during 12/13. Mr Gaffigan continues his relationship with both the Vienna State Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival – in 2012, he conducted a production of La Cenerentola at Glyndebourne and returned for performances of Falstaff during the summer of 2013. In the 2014/15 season he will debut at the Hamburg Opera with performances of Salome and at the Norwegian Opera with a new production of La Traviata. He made his professional opera debut at the Zurich Opera in 2005 conducting La Bohème.
Born in New York City in 1979, Mr. Gaffigan has degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.
In 2009, Mr. Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him. 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. James 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 Sofia and Liam.