Kent Nagano

Biography

Born: November 22, 1951; Morro Bay, CA  
Given the impact of his career upon music, it seems incredible that Kent Nagano almost became a lawyer. Despite thorough musical training beginning at age six and obvious talent, Nagano simultaneously worked toward degrees at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in sociology and music in 1974 before moving on to San Francisco State University in 1976 to study law. There, composition courses with Grosvenor Cooper and Roger Nixon turned him Read more toward music, and an encounter with Laszlo Varga -- former first cellist of the New York Philharmonic under Walter, Mitropoulos, and Bernstein -- prompted him toward conducting. Though he no longer composes, Nagano has said, "While I seemed to be quite able from the point of view of craftsmanship, I was not very good at the creative aspects! However, having the skills of composition only increases the admiration that one can have for the exceptionally talented who have composed great works." His apprenticeship was spent under Sarah Caldwell at the Opera Company of Boston from 1977 to 1979, where he eventually became assistant conductor. In 1978 he was named music director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, a post he has continuously held. It was with the Berkeley Symphony in 1982 where he led the first American performance of Pfitzner's opera Palestrina. As assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, he stood in, without rehearsal, to conduct Mahler's Symphony No. 9 in 1984. An adventurous spirit and a major interpretive grasp were clearly at work. These traits were confirmed when Olivier Messiaen tapped Nagano to assist Seiji Ozawa in preparing the world premiere of his sprawling, luminous opera Saint Françoise d'Assisse in 1984, a work Nagano later recorded. His years as musical director of the Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998) were marked by a number of distinguished premieres (including Peter Eötvös' opera Three Sisters, which he commissioned) and recordings, among the latter, Debussy's abandoned opera Rodrigue et Chimčne, John Adams' Death of Klinghoffer, Busoni's comic opera double bill of Arlecchino and Turandot, and his testament, the unfinished Doktor Faust (with alternate completions by Philipp Jarnach and Antony Beaumont). As music director of the Hallé Orchestra from 1991-2000, he recorded John Adams' El Nińo and the four-act version of Britten's Billy Budd. Nagano is a frequent guest conductor with the world's greatest orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Russian National Orchestra. He was named music advisor to the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for 2004-05. Read less
Browse 151-28 of 28 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Strauss: Ariadne Auf Naxos, Etc / Nagano, Price, Jo, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45111 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Sumi Jo,  Ernst Theo Richter,  Gösta Winbergh,  Markus Schäfer  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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  • 152.
    Massenet: Werther / Nagano, Von Otter, Hadley, Upshaw
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 17790 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Jerry Hadley,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Dawn Upshaw
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Chorus,  Lyon National Orchestra
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  • 153.
    Canteloube: Chants d'Auvergne Vol 2 / Upshaw, Nagano
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 17577 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Emmanuel,  Joseph Canteloube
    Performer:  Dawn Upshaw
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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  • 154.
    Ravel: Ma Mčre L'oye, Etc / Nagano, Opera National De Lyon
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 14331 Release Date: 01/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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  • 155.
    Britten: The Rescue Of Penelope, Phaedra / Nagano, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 12713 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Peter Worrall,  Janet Simpson,  William Dazeley  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 156.
    Adams: Violin Concerto, Shaker Loops / Kremer, Nagano
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79360 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Adams
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  John Adams,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Ravel: Valses Nobles Et Sentimentales, Etc / Kent Nagano
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 98479 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 158.
    Puccini: La Boheme / Nagano, Te Kanawa, Leech
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 10699 Release Date: 10/03/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Alan Titus,  Gino Quilico,  Roberto Scandiuzzi,  Carlos Chausson  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  St. Clement Danes Grammar School Boys Choir
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  • 159.
    Berlioz: La Damnation De Faust / Nagano, Moser, Van Dam
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 0106922 Release Date: 08/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Thomas Moser,  Susan Graham,  Frédéric Caton
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus
    On sale! $51.99
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  • 160.
    Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf / Kent Nagano, Patrick Stewart
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 97418 Release Date: 11/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Patrick Stewart
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Canteloube: Chants d'Auvergne / Upshaw, Nagano
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 96559 Release Date: 11/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube
    Performer:  Dawn Upshaw
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Floyd: Susannah / Nagano, Studer, Ramey, Hadley, Chester
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45039 Release Date: 09/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carlisle Floyd
    Performer:  Jerry Hadley,  Steven Cole,  Kenn Chester,  Della Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus
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  • 163.
    Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé / Nagano, London So
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91712 Release Date: 06/08/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Varčse: Works Vol 1 (1920-1927) / Kent Nagano
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 92137 Release Date: 06/08/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgard Varčse
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 165.
    Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmelites / Nagano, Dubosc, Van Dam
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 59227 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Georges Gautier,  Catherine Dubosc,  Martine Dupuy,  Rita Gorr  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus,  London Chorus
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  • 166.
    Adams: The Death of Klinghoffer / Nagano, Sylvan, Maddalena
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79281 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Adams
    Performer:  Eugene Perry,  Sanford Sylvan,  James Maddalena,  Stephanie Friedman  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Opera Chorus,  Lyon Opera Orchestra
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    On sale! $36.98
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