Year
Event
1960
Born in Brooklyn, NY
1967
Family moves to Seattle, WA
1967
Sees Janos Starker play in concert. Begins Cello lessons
1968
Sees Puccini’s TURANDOT at the Seattle Opera, which is a life changer. Starts to play the piano and learn opera scores
1971
Sings the role of the Boy in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME
1972
Sees Wagner’s DIE WALKÜRE at the Seattle Opera and starts to develop a passion for his music.
1975
Starts at Seattle Opera as a pianist/coach for Wagner’s DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, which he does for six seasons
1978-1982
Attends the Eastman School of Music
1981
Becomes a pianist/coach at the Santa Fe Opera, specializing in the operas of Richard Strauss
1982
Graduates Eastman. Plays senior piano recital with the Liszt Sonata as the major work
1983
Becomes a pianist/coach at the San Francisco Opera
1983
Becomes a pianist/coach at the Chicago Lyric Opera
1984
Becomes a pianist/coach/assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera
1985
Appears on stage at the Metropolitan Opera as the Tavern Pianist in Act III of Berg’s WOZZECK, and soon after plays the piano in the pit with the Met Orchestra for the Met’s first ever performances of Gershwin’s PORGY AND BESS
1986
Does musical preparation and is cover conductor for a special festival series of three Richard Strauss operas, arranged by Matthew Epstein and presented in Carnegie Hall, including CAPRICCIO, INTERMEZZO and DAPHNE
1986
Assists Zubin Mehta at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (DIE MEISTERSINGER, TOSCA and GURRELIEDER)
1986-1988
Assists Daniel Barenboim at the Bayreuth Festival (TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, PARSIFAL, DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN)
1986
Makes conducting debut at the San Francisco Opera in Gounod’s FAUST
1987
Assists Leonard Bernstein on his recording of Puccini’s LA BOHÈME with the Orchestra dell’Academia Nationale di Santa Cecilia in Rome
1988
Makes his conducting debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera with Mozart’s COSI FAN TUTTE
1988
Is chosen by Leonard Bernstein to be one of three young conductors to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a special pair of concerts
1989
Makes conducting debut at the Santa Fe Opera in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA
1990
Takes over at short notice from Seiji Ozawa and conducts a concert of opera scenes with Mirella Freni, Petr Dvorský and the Boston Symphony
1990
Makes his debut at Oper der Stadt Köln in Puccini’s MANON LESCAUT
1991
Makes his conducting debut at the Australian Opera with Puccini’s TURANDOT
1991
Makes conducting debut at the Seattle Opera in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME
1991
Makes conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA
1992
Makes his debut at the Dresden Semperoper in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA
1992
Makes his conducting debut at the National Opera of Bordeaux with Verdi’s RIGOLETTO, and then takes over concert performances of Verdi’s OTELLO at a week’s notice
1993
Conducts the Met Premiere of Dvořák’s RUSALKA, the first time this opera had ever been performed there
1994
Conducts the first staged version of Berlioz’ LES TROYENS at the Australian Opera, the first in this country’s history
1994
Makes his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper with DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER
1998
Conducts Debussy’s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, the first in this country’s history
1999
Becomes Chief Conductor of The Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg, his first production being Wagners’s DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG
2000
Becomes the General Music Director of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker
2001
Conducts Schoenberg’s massive GURRELIEDER with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Musikverein zu Dusseldorf
2001
Goes on a two week China Tour leading the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker in works including Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Schumann’s 2nd Symphony
2002
The Deutsche Oper am Rhein does a tour to the Savonlinna Festival in Finland, where he conducts DIE MEISTERSINGER and DER ROSENKAVALIER back to back, six nights in a row
2003
Conducts the World Premiere of Bright Sheng’s MADAME MAO at the Santa Fe Opera
2004
Conducts his first complete RING at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein
2005
Conducts the World Premiere of Christian Jost’s VIPERN at he Deutsche Oper am Rhein
2005
Conducts the complete RING Cycle at the National Theater in Prague, the first production since the Second World War (co-production with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein)
2008
Conducts Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in his final concert as General Music Director with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Musikverein zu Dusseldorf
2009
Conducts 17 operas in his final season as Chief Conductor at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, including the complete RING, DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, and a 5-day Janáček festival with five different operas (JENŮFÁ, KATA’ KABANOVA, THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, THE MAKROPULOS CASE, and THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD)
2009
Becomes Music Director of The Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo
2010
Makes his debut with the Grand Théâtre de Genève conducting Wagner’s PARSIFAL, starting a long relationship
2011
Conducts the first ever performances of Berg’s LULU at the Norwegian Opera
2012
Returns to the Savonlinna Festival, this time with the Norwegian Opera, conducting Britten’s PETER GRIMES
2014
Makes his debut at the Swedish Royal Opera on a day’s notice to conduct Giordano’s ANDREA CHÉNIER
2015
Becomes a freelancer and moves to Geneva, Switzerland
2016
Conducts a run of Mascagni’s CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Leoncavallo’s PAGLIACCI at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, starting a fruitful relationship there
2017
Conducts the first performance ever of Berlioz’ LES TROYENS at the Dresden Semperoper
2018
Returns to the Seattle and Santa Fe Operas for AIDA and MADAMA BUTTERFLY, respectively
2019
Makes his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona with Puccini’s TOSCA