“Under the baton of renowned conductor Arthur Fagen, whose respect for Beethoven’s score was apparent in every bar of his reading of it, the musicians played with precision of pitch, rhythm, and ensemble that would have been remarkable in any performance… Fagen’s conducting was the catalyst for an incendiary musical reaction.”
– Fidelio, North Carolina Opera 2021 – Voix des Arts
Arthur Fagen has been the Music Director of the Atlanta Opera since 2010. Mr. Fagen is in great demand as a conductor of symphony and opera in Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States. His is a regular guest of the most prestigious opera, concert halls, and music festivals at home and abroad.
With an operatic repertoire that spans more than 90 works, he has been the Principal Conductor in Kassel and Brunswick, Chief Conductor of the Flanders Opera of Antwerp and Ghent, Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and a member of the conducting staff of the Chicago Lyric Opera. From 2002/2007 Mr. Fagen was the Music Director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. Under his leadership and following his successful concerts with the Dortmund Philharmonic at the Grosse Festspielhaus in Salzburg, he was invited to tour with the orchestra through Holland at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Belgium at the Palais de Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and Austria (Salzburg) and China (Beijing and Shanghai). He conducted in that period, among others, new opera productions of Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, and two Ring Cycles.
Mr. Fagen conducted a new production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Atlanta Opera with enormous success inaugurating the new Opera House, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Following that success, he has conducted the Israel Sym-phony Orchestra, Holland Sinfonia, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Sicily and Rome’s Symphony Orchestras. In recent seasons, Mr. Fagen conducted in Atlanta Beethoven’s Fidelio, Akhnaten by Philip Glass, Wag-ner’s Der Fliegende Holländer, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Bizet’s Carmen, Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Gounod’s Faust and Roméo et Juliette, Puccini’s Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Wagner’s Das Rheingold. This season he conducts Die Walküre for the company.
Mr. Fagen has recorded for BMG, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SFB and WDR Cologne, and has enjoyed a long-term relationship with Naxos label. He has completed the 6 symphonies of Bohuslav Martinu and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies with the Staatskapelle Weimar. The Naxos recording of Martinu’s Piano Concertos has been awarded an Editor’s Choice of Gramophone Magazing. Bernard Rand’s first recording of the opera Vincent earned outstanding reviews and the Naxos recording of David Diamond’s Symphony N.6 and Rounds for String Orchestra received enthusiastic reviews from international critics. Fagen’s newest Naxos release with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra was released in June 2020, fea-turing works by African-American composers William Dawson Levi, and Ulysses Kay which earned Fagen high praise; “Arthur Fagen conducts each score with incisive authority,” writes Donald Rosenberg on Gramophone Magazine, and “Ar-thur Fagen and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra provide us with another crucial look at this complex, vibrant opus,” says Seth Colter Wall of the New York Times.
Mr. Fagen was born in New York where he began his conducting studies with Laszlo Halasz. Further studies continued at the Curtis Institute under the guidance of Max Rudolf, and at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Hans Swarowsky. A former assistant of both Christoph von Dohnanyi (Frankfurt Opera) and James Levine (Metropolitan Opera), Mr. Fagen’s career has been marked by a string of notable appearances: He has appeared regularly as Guest Conductor at the Vienna State Opera; conducted opera productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Munich State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, New York City Opera, Theatre Capitole de Toulouse, Bordeaux Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Staatstheater Stuttgart, New Israeli Opera, Baltimore Opera, Edmonton Opera, Spoleto Festival, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Stadttheater Bozen. On the concert podium, Mr. Fagen has appeared with internationally known orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammer-philharmonie, the Czech Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, RAI Orchestras (Torino, Naples, Milano, Roma), the Bergen Philharmonic, Prague Spring Festival, the Dutch Radio Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Or-chestra, to name but a few.
Mr. Fagen is Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.