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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 Chimène, 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 Niño 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
Bruckner: Symphonie No 3 / Nagano, Deutsches So Berlin
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 951817   Number of Discs: 1
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Wolf: Prometheus, Orchestral Lieder / Nagano, Banse, Henschel
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 501837   Number of Discs: 1
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John Adams: El Niño / Nagano, Upshaw, White, Et Al
Release Date: 08/28/2001   Label: Nonesuch  
Catalog: 79634   Number of Discs: 2
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Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf / Nagano, Sophia Loren, Et Al
Release Date: 09/23/2003   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186012   Number of Discs: 1
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Kent Nagano - Seeking New Shores
Release Date: 01/29/2008   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101809   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 151-155 of 155 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    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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  • 152.
    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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  • 153.
    Varèse: Works Vol 1 (1920-1927) / Kent Nagano
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 92137 Release Date: 06/08/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edgard Varèse
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 154.
    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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  • 155.
    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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