Kent Nagano

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__FORCETOC__Kent George Nagano (born November 22, 1951) is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Bavarian State Opera.

Biography

Nagano was born in Berkeley, California, while his parents were in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. He grew up in Morro Bay, a city located on the Central Coast of California. He is Japanese American. He studied sociology and music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation he moved to San Francisco State University to study music. While there, he took composition courses from Grosvenor Cooper and Roger Nixon. He also studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris.

His first conducting job was with the Opera Company of Boston, where he was assistant conductor to Sarah Caldwell. In 1978, he became the conductor of the Berkeley Symphony, his first music directorship. He stepped down from this position in 2009. During his tenure in Berkeley, Nagano became a champion of the music of Olivier Messiaen and initiated a correspondence with him.

In 1982, Nagano conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in several of Frank Zappa's completely orchestral compositions for the first time. Nagano recorded several of Zappa's pieces on the issue London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1, where Zappa had personally chosen Nagano to conduct the orchestra. Nagano...
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