Thursday, December 5, 2019

Eun Sun Kim Appointed SFO Music Director

Conductor Eun Sun Kim conducting the June 28 performance of Rusalka (photograph by Kristen Loken, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera)

This afternoon at the War Memorial Opera House, Matthew Shilvock, General Director of the San Francisco Opera (SFO), announced the appointment of conductor Eun Sun Kim as Caroline H. Hume Music Director. Readers may recall that Kim made her SFO debut this past June when she conducted David McVicar’s staging of Antonín Dvořák’s best known opera, his Opus 114 Rusalka. This was the first time she had conducted a Czech opera, and her performance was nothing short of pure dynamite. There was no shortage of imaginative sonorities in Dvořák’s score. Kim not only knew how to coax the full palette of those sonorities from the orchestra pit but also how to blend them with all the rich solo and choral work coming from the stage.

Kim will give her first performance following Shilvock’s announcement tomorrow night in Herbst Theater. Readers may recall that tomorrow night will present the final performance by the 2019 Adler Fellows in a program that will offer a rich selection from the operatic repertoire. She is currently dividing her time between Vienna and Houston, where she is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Houston Grand Opera. Her tenure with SFO will begin on August 1, 2021. Following tomorrow night, her next appearance will be during the opening weekend of the 2020–21 season, when she will conduct a new production of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Over the course of her early career, Kim has established herself as an expressive opera conductor in both Europe and North America. As we know from this past summer, she is not afraid to expand her repertoire in adventurous ways. We should all look forward to her future performances as she makes San Francisco her new home.

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