Kent Nagano has been General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera since September 2006. As his premiere performance in this new position, he conducted the world première of Rihm’s Das Gehege and Strauss’ Salome. Further performances included Billy Budd, Chowanschtschina, Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde, the world première of Unsuk Chins’ Alice in Wonderland, as well as numerous Academy Concerts with the Bavarian State Orchestra. New productions in the 2007/08 season included Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin, Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, and Mozart’s Idomeneo. 2008/09 Nagano assumed the musical direction of two more new productions, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and the 2009 festival première of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. In the 2009/10 season, Kent Nagano conducted new productions of Don Giovanni, Dialogues des Carmélites and Die schweigsame Frau.
The 2010/11 season commenced with a new production of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges followed by Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg and Messiaen St François d’Assise as well as revivals of Don Giovanni, Lohengrin, Ariadne auf Naxos, Dialogues des Carmélites, Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde. In 2011/12 Kent Nagano conducted a new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen directed by Andreas Kriegenburg.
Kent Nagano has commissioned a new opera by Jörg Widmann Babylon to open the 12/13 season and other new productions are Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and George Benjamin’s Written on Skin.
Concert tours have led Kent Nagano and the Bavarian State Orchestra to various cities throughout Europe in two major tours – the first in 2006 including Milan, Linz, Bolzano Regensburg, Nuremberg, Budapest and Baden-Baden and in 2010 Grafenegg, Bonn, Berlin, Moscow, Italy and Belgium. In 2011 he led both the opera and orchestra on tour to Japan including concerts and productions of Lohengrin and Ariadne auf Naxos.
Under his direction, the Bavarian State Opera has also given new emphasis to their youth and education programs. Some examples of this dedication are the Opera Studio of the Bavarian State Opera, the Orchestra Academy of the Bavarian State Orchestra and the youth orchestra ATTACCA.
With the Bavarian State Orchestra Nagano has recorded Bruckner Symphonies No. 4 and 7 released on Sony.