Peter Sellars

stage direction

Star director Peter Sellars, one of the most innovative contemporary figures in theatre, was Artist in Residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the 2016/17 season. He has worked with the orchestra several times before, such as in the spectacular performances of Bach’s [St Matthew Passion] and [St John Passion] in 2010, 2013 and 2014, and also in 2015, when Sellars staged Debussy’s [Pelléas et Mélisande], his first opera at the Philharmonie Berlin.

A graduate of Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, Peter Sellars studied literature and music at Harvard University and made his debut as a stage director in New York in 1980. After further theatre studies in Asia, he became director of the Boston Shakespeare Company in 1983 and of the American National Theatre in Washington (D.C.) the following year. His broadcasts of [Così fan tutte], [Le nozze di Figaro] and [Don Giovanni] on American television brought him international renown. He went on to direct many other operas at major theatres, including the Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals, the Opéra National de Paris and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In this context, Peter Sellars was particularly committed to works by contemporary composers such as John Adams, Tan Dun, Osvaldo Golijov and Kaija Saariaho. Sellars has directed numerous festivals and has been awarded prizes such as the MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, the highly prestigious Gish Prize and the Polar Music Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a MacArthur Fellow, as well as a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he has taught since 1988.


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