Eun Sun Kim will be the first female music director of San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera appoints new music director3:40, 9th January 2020
San Francisco Opera has announced that Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim will become the company’s next music director in 2021
Kim will be just the fourth music director in the history of the company, as well as being the first woman appointed to the role and the first person in the post since the interregnum following Nicola Luisotti’s departure from the company in 2018.
The announcement of Kim’s appointment as music director designate was made by SFO general director Matthew Shilvock, who said: ‘Eun Sun Kim leads with great vision on the podium but also welcomes each and every person into the creative process, inviting them to do their very best work. The resulting art is spectacular.’
Kim will immediately begin participating in the planning of future seasons as well as orchestral auditions. ‘From my very first moments at San Francisco Opera, I felt this was home,’ Kim said in a statement. ‘There was an unusual feeling of open collaboration across so many facets of the Company – a real sense of professional alchemy.’
Kim studied composition and conducting in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea, before continuing her studies in Stuttgart, where she graduated with distinction. Her experience as a composer is an important part of her music-making: ‘When I study a score, I want to get into the language of a composer,’ she says. Her mentors have included Daniel Barenboim, who taught her ‘how to think about music and how to approach a score, how to create a sound, the basic things. He told me that creating sound is the art of a moment, it’s like a life. When it’s gone, it’s gone’. She also assisted Kirill Petrenko in Lyons in the run-up to her professional debut at Frankfurt Opera in 2012.
As the company’s music director, Kim will conduct up to four productions each season in San Francisco, in addition to leading concerts and working with SFO’s Adler young artist programme. She is already scheduled to conduct San Francisco Opera’s new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, which will open the company’s 2020/21 season.