Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today.
James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, recently extended for the third time. Since becoming Chief Conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester James has made a very significant impact on the orchestra's profile, both nationally and internationally, with a number of highly successful tours and recordings. In recognition of this success his contract has been further extended until 2021. He is also Music Director Designate of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.
Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The 2020/21 season features debuts with the Paris Opera and Philharmonia Orchestra of London plus returns to the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. and Bayerische Staatsoper.
Recent symphonic highlights include appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna Symphony, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Tokyo Metropolitan and Seoul Philharmonic.
In North America, Gaffigan works with top orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
A regular at the Metropolitan Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper, Gaffigan is equally at home in the opera house and conducts at the Zürich Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Staatsoper Hamburg, Dutch National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera.
James Gaffigan was First Prize winner of the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. In 2009, he completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, a position created for him by Michael Tilson Thomas. Prior to that, he was Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, where he worked with Music Director Franz Welser Möst.
Passionate about music education and a product of the New York City public school system, James Gaffigan grew up in Staten Island and studied at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art before pursuing his conducting studies.