Born in South Africa, Gérard Korsten began his career as a violinist after studying with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute and with Sándor Végh in Salzburg. Following his studies in the US and Europe he became concertmaster and assistant music director of the Camerata Salzburg and later concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from 1987 to 1996 when he left the COE to concentrate on conducting. He held positions of principal conductor of the state theatre in Pretoria and the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra before he was appointed music director of the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari from 1999 to 2005. In Cagliari he conducted the first Italian performances of Richard Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena, Weber’s Euryanthe, Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet and Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella, as well as the productions of the core-operatic repertoire including Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Tosca, Aïda, The Barber of Seville and Don Pasquale.
Since then Gérard Korsten has appeared in most notable opera houses and concert halls around Europe including Teatro La Scala Milan (Le nozze di Figaro), Maggio Musicale Florence (Così fan tutte), Teatro Reggio di Parma (La Sonnambula), Teatro Lirico Verdi Trieste (Don Pasquale and La Fille du Regiment), Opéra de Lyon (Ariadne auf Naxos, Henze’s L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe, Siegfried and La Traviata), Royal Swedish Opera (Don Giovanni), Netherlands Opera (Così fan tutte), English National Opera (Aïda) and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Albert Herring).
His past symphonic engagements have included concerts with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai Turin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Swedish Radio Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Among his recordings are the CD of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade and Souvenir de Florence with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Deutsche Grammophon, Die ägyptische Helena, Euryanthe and Alfonso und Estrella with the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari on CD and DVD with Dynamic, as well as a DVD recording of Don Pasquale released on TDK.
Gérard Korsten is currently music director of the London Mozart Players and principal conductor of the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg Bregenz.
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