Since his debut in November 2003 with Benjamin Britten’s [War Requiem], Sir Donald Runnicles has returned to the Berliner Philharmoniker on a number of occasions. He is general music director of Deutsche Oper Berlin, artistic director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, USA, and principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Runnicles comes from Edinburgh and studied horn, piano and conducting in Cambridge and London. After initial engagements at the theatres in Mannheim, Hanover and Freiburg, he was music director of San Francisco Opera and principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s before moving to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the same position. Runnicles appears regularly at Wiener Staatsoper and other leading theatres, including the state opera houses in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin, as well as in Zurich, Glyndebourne, Paris, Milan, New York and at the Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals. In the concert hall, in addition to his Atlanta engagements, he has conducted numerous top orchestras in Europe, the USA and Australia. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In October 2020, Donald Runnicles was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to music.