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Eugene Kohn

Eugen Kohn Eugene Kohn began his career quite young as piano accompanist to the top operatic singers, including Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Luciano Pavarotti, and Renata Tebaldi, to name a few. His formal conducting studies began with a five year, full time apprenticeship as the protegé of the Metropolitan Opera’s Fausto Cleva. He then served for two years as assistant to Thomas Schippers, and subsequently worked the central German orchestral repertoire with Erich Leinsdorf.

After several years of intensive activity with regional opera companies and orchestras, Mo. Kohn debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1980 conducting La Gioconda with Renata Scotto. James Levine subsequently re-engaged him for several important works at the MET, and he moved on to conduct at such major opera houses as the Wiener Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Liceu de Barcelona, Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires. He maintained activity in the symphonic field with regional orchestras, building a solid and varied repertoire.

From 1992 to 1997 Mo. Kohn was Principal Guest Conductor of the Bonn Opera where he collaborated with director GianCarlo Del Monaco on productions of «Der Rosenkavalier», «Don Giovanni», «La Fanciulla del West», «Die Zauberflöte», «Otello», «Fidelio», and many others. Between 1994 and 2002 Kohn was Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony, which he enlarged significantly in personnel, budget, audience and repertoire with cycles of Bartok, Stravinsky, and Mahler. He now divideds his time equally between symphony and opera, and in 2008/09 he has return engagements at both Teatro Liceu de Barcelona and Deutsche Opera Berlin.

He has been a frequent guest at Washington National Opera since 1999, conducting productions there of «I Pagliacci», «Tosca», «La Bohéme», «Un Ballo in Maschera», «Fedora», «Andrea Chenier», and «Madama Butterfly».

Mo. Kohn can be heard with Maria Callas (as her live piano accompanist) on EMI’s 3 CD release “The Master Classes”, and seen as conductor on Sony Classical’s 2003 DVD release “Duetto from the Rome Colisseum”. He has an extensive recorded legacy with Plácido Domingo, including EMI’s award winning “Roman Heroes” with the London Symphony, and ‘Opera Gala’ with Thomas Hampson and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

In 2004 Kohn made his professional screen acting debut (by re-creating his actual role as Maria Callas’ accompanist) in Zeffirelli’s “Callas Forever”, appearing with Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons. He can be seen as conductor in Millenium Arts’ DVD “Finding Eleazar” («La Juive» excerpts with Neil Shicoff), acclaimed at the Tribeca Film Festival (DG,2005), and also the DVD “Alagna in Concert” (DG, 2006). His recent CD (DG, 2007) “Italia, ti amo”, where he conducts Domingo and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy.




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