Eun Sun Kim
Following “a company debut of astonishing vibrancy and assurance” (San Francisco Chronicle) in Rusalka, Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim has been named the Caroline H. Hume Music Director Designate of San Francisco Opera. Her presence in North America was first established with performances of Verdi’s Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony and La traviata with Houston Grand Opera, with the latter earning her an appointment as the company’s first Principal Guest Conductor in 25 years.
The 2020/21 season opened with the famed Concert de Paris, in which Ms. Kim leads the Orchestre National de France and Chœur de Radio France at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, for a worldwide television audience of millions. She is subsequently slated to conduct symphony orchestras around the globe, including concerts in Atlanta*, Baltimore*, Detroit*, Madrid, Montreal, New York*, and Vancouver*. She continues a series of important operatic debuts with La bohème at Wiener Staatsoper* and L’elisir d’amore at Lyric Opera of Chicago* and returns to Bayerische Staatsoper* for La bohème before conducting La traviata at Staatsoper Berlin. While planned engagements for Fidelio at San Francisco Opera* and Carmen at Houston Grand Opera* have been cancelled due to COVID-19, Houston will now air a filmed version of The Impresario through its partnership with Marquee Arts TV.
Ms. Kim has enjoyed recent North American successes at Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, where The New York Times pronounced her “a major star…with great sensitivity and flexibility.” Her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was quickly followed by debut engagements with Oregon Symphony and Seattle Symphony, and her triumphant return to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was hailed by the Business Courier as “impeccable…a dynamic presence, illuminating details of the score with clarity and expressive power.” Major upcoming debuts include subscription concerts with the New York Philharmonic and productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera.
In addition to her growing North American presence, Ms. Kim is a regular guest conductor at many important European opera houses. She maintains a particularly close connection with the Staatsoper Berlin, where she has recently conducted successful productions of La traviata, Ariadne auf Naxos, Madama Butterfly, Un ballo in maschera, and Il trovatore. She has appeared consistently at opera houses across Germany, leading productions of Hänsel und Gretel at Bayerische Staatsoper, Madama Butterfly at Staatsoper Stuttgart, Rigoletto at Semperoper Dresden, and a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor at Oper Köln. She has been frequently engaged by Oper Frankfurt, where she celebrated successes with La Sonnambula, The Count of Luxembourg, La bohème, Die Csárdásfürstin, and Der Fliegende Höllander.
Ms. Kim established herself in Scandinavia with a successful debut at the Royal Swedish Opera in Madama Butterfly, returning there to conduct Il barbiere di Siviglia. Her performances of Il trovatore at Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, Carmen in Oslo, and Madama Butterfly and Der Fliegende Höllander in Bergen have been complemented by concert appearances with Gothenburg Symphony and Norwegian Radio Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Malmö, Umeå, and Aarhus.
Ms. Kim’s recent engagements have also included a new production of Die Fledermaus with English National Opera, Carmen at Opernhaus Zürich, Hänsel und Gretel, Carmen, and Die Fledermaus at Volksoper Wien, Il viaggio a Reims at Teatro Real Madrid, La traviata at Opéra de Marseille, and La bohème with Oper Graz. Concert performances comprise appearances with Orchestre de Paris, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, and Stuttgart Philharmonic, as well as orchestras in Madrid, Marseille, Munich, Lille, Nancy, Palermo, Turin, Milwaukee, Calgary, and Santiago de Compostela.
Ms. Kim studied composition and conducting in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea, before continuing her studies in Stuttgart, where she graduated with distinction. Directly after graduation, she was awarded the First Prize in the International Jesús López Cobos Opera Conducting Competition at the Teatro Real Madrid.