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David Afkham

Felix Broede

David Afkham is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most sought after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years. The past two years saw highly successful debut engagements with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, DSO-Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker, Spanish National Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony and his New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival. David Afkham also stepped in at short notice for an indisposed Ingo Metzmacher to lead the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester’s 2012 Easter Tour, attracting unanimous critical acclaim.

In May 2013, David Afkham was appointed as the next Principal Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra, a tenure which will begin in the season 14/15.

Highlight over the next two seasons include return projects with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Wiener Symphoniker (Musikverein series), DSO-Berlin, Orchestre National de France, Spanish National Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and on tour with the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester. David is also looking forward to debuts with the Filarmonica della Scala, London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gürzenich Orchestra Köln, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Tokyo.

David Afkham was Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester for three years, a tenure which ended in Summer 2012.

In August 2010, he became the first recipient of the “Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award”. He was also the winner of the 2008 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London, resulting in him becoming the Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for two years. 

Born 1983 in Freiburg, Germany, David Afkham received his first piano and violin lessons at the age of six.  At 15, he entered his native city’s University of Music to pursue studies in piano, music theory and conducting.  He won first prize in the solo-piano category of the 2002 “Jugend Musiziert“ German National Piano Competition. He then completed his conducting  studies at the Liszt School of Music in Weimar. David Afkham was the first recipient of the "Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent", was a conducting fellow of the "Richard Wagner Association" Bayreuth and a member of the "Conductor's Forum" of the German Music Council. He continues to work on a regular basis with his mentor Bernard Haitink, whom he has assisted on a number of projects including major symphony cycles with the Chicago Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra.


Source: Askonas Holt


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