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Nagano to lead Munich opera

His new post begins in 2006, but L.A. Opera says he plans to continue in his role here as principal conductor.

February 04, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

BERLIN — Kent Nagano, the principal conductor of the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin and of Los Angeles Opera, will take over as musical director of Munich's Bavarian State Opera in 2006, officials said Monday.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Nagano would continue in Berlin after his contract expires at the end of the 2005-06 season.

Nagano, 51, a Grammy Award winner, will be joined by Christoph Albrecht of Dresden's Semper Opera, who will become the opera house's director, Bavarian Culture Minister Hans Zehetmair said. Both men will have five-year contracts.

Nagano will replace Israeli Zubin Mehta, while Albrecht will replace Peter Jonas as director. Nagano was traveling to Russia on Monday and was unavailable for comment.

Edgar Baitzel, Los Angeles Opera's director of operations, said Monday that Nagano had told L.A. Opera officials last summer that he was in serious negotiations for the Munich post, and had assured the company that assuming the new job would not affect his commitment and dedication to his work in Los Angeles. Nagano, a California native, has conducting commitments with the opera company through the 2006-07 season.

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