Edinburgh-born Donald Runnicles is Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,having taken up the post in September 2009. It has recently been announced that his contract asChief Conductor has been extended until 2015. He also holds concurrent positions as General MusicDirector of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival (Wyoming,USA), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He first conducted the BBCSSO at the 2001 Edinburgh International Festival in a performance of Berlioz’sThe Trojans. Since then he has appeared with the orchestra virtually every summer ateither the BBC Proms or Edinburgh International Festival most recently for performances of Ravel’sDaphnis et Chloé and Mahler’s Second Symphony respectively. Last season he led his firstEuropean tour with the orchestra.
Donald Runnicles began conducting in Mannheim, and was an assistant at the Bayreuth Festivalduring the 1980s before making his North American debut in 1988, conducting Berg’sLulu at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. From 1989 to 1993 he was General Music Directorof the City of Freiburg. In 1990, following two Ring cycles for San Francisco Opera, he became itsMusic Director for 17 seasons, during which he led more than 65 operas, amongst them the worldpremiere of John Adams’sDoctor Atomic, and the American premiere of Messiaen’sSt. Francis of Assisi. He has frequently conducted at the Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals,at many of the world’s leading opera houses (Metropolitan Opera, Vienna, La Scala Milan, Paris,Glyndebourne, and Munich), and is a welcome guest to many of the world’s most prestigiousorchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, BBCSymphony and London Symphony orchestras.
Donald Runnicles was awarded the OBE in 2004 and holds honorary degrees from the University ofEdinburgh and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.