Photo: Andreas H. Bitesnich




Dennis Russell Davies

Representation: Europa
Contact: Maria Zeugswetter
Phone: +43 660 300 2898



Artistic director and Chief Conductor of Filharmonie Brno

Dennis Russell Davies was born in Toledo (Ohio) and studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School, New York. His activities as an opera and concert conductor, and as a pianist and chamber musician, are characterized by an extensive repertoire stretching from the Baroque to the latest music of our time. Widely considered to be one of the most innovative and adventurous conductors in the classical music world, Dennis Russell Davies has successfully challenged and inspired audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. He is noted for his exciting and well-structured concert programmes and for close working relationships with many composers, among them Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, John Cage, Manfred Trojahn, Philip Glass, Heinz Winbeck, Laurie Anderson, Philippe Manoury, Aaron Copland, Hans Werner Henze, Michael Nyman and Kurt Schwertsik.

After first appointments as Musical Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra 1972-1980 and Chief Conductor of the American Composers Orchestra in New York 1977-2002, Davies moved to Europe and settled down in Germany and Austria. He held positions as Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart (1980-1987) as well as Chief Conductor of the Beethovenhalle Orchestra, Music Director of the Bonn Opera and the International Beethoven Festival (1987-1995). From 1997-2000 he was Chief Conductor of Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, was entrusted with a conducting professorship at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1997 and was Chief Conductor of Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from 1995-2006, with which he recorded all 107 Symphonies of Joseph Haydn for CD, only the third complete recording of this oeuvre. In addition, he became Chief Conductor of Basel Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2016, from 2002-2017 he was Opera Director at the Landestheater Linz as well as Chief Conductor of Bruckner Orchestra Linz where he got awarded the title “GMD”in 2014.

As a guest, Dennis Russell Davies has conducted such renowned orchestras as those in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and the New York Philharmonic, as well as Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.

In Europe, he has worked with Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala di Milano, Orquesta Nacional de España, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Dresdener Philharmonie, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Munich and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

After his début at the Bayreuth Festival 1978-1980, his operatic work has included conducting at Lincoln Center Festival New York, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Reál de Madrid, Hamburg and the Bavarian State Operas, Salzburg Festival and Wiener Staatsoper.

During his tenure as GMD in Linz, the new Linz Opera House was inaugurated in April 2013, at which occasion Dennis Russell Davies conducted the world premiere of Philip Glass’s opera “The Lost” as well as Strauss’ ”Der Rosenkavalier”. In addition, he conducted new productions of the whole “Ring des Nibelungen”, “Pelléas et Mélisande”, “Falstaff”, “Salome”, the European premiere of “McTeague” as well as world premieres by Moritz Eggert and Michael Obst at the new “Musiktheater”.

Davies’ work also had a crucial and lasting effect on the concert sector of Bruckner Orchester Linz by reaching out to modernity and new audiences, and frequent touring activity while still working on their core repertoire, e.g. the recording of all symphonies of Bruckner in every version.

In 2016/17/18, Dennis Russell Davies was a guest – among others - at Gewandhaus Leipzig, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, DSO Berlin, SWR Stuttgart, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale (Torino), Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, New Japan Philharmonic  and Yomiuri Nippon SO, as well as at the Festivals “Prague Spring” (with Filharmonie Brno) and Ravenna (with Cherubini Orchestra).

In September 2018, Dennis Russell Davies took up his position as Artistic director and Chief Conductor of Filharmonie Brno.

Guest performances in 2018/19 lead him to the opera Frankfurt (new production of Eötvös „Tri sestry“), the Staatsorchester Stuttgart, the Hamburger Philharmoniker, the Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien, the Yomiruri Nippon Symphonie Orchestra and to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española Madrid.

Future engagements include his return to State Opera Vienna, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Firenze and Teatro San Carlo Napoli, as well as tour concerts in Vienna and Linz with Filharmonie Brno.

Dennis Russell Davies is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In December 2014, the title “Commandeur des Arts et Lettres” was bestowed on Dennis Russell Davies by the French government, in 2017, he received the “Österreichische Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst 1. Klasse” by the Austrian government.

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