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Peter Sellars

artistic collaborator

About this Artist

Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of classics, advocacy of 20th-century and contemporary music, and collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative and performing artists. He has staged operas at the Dutch National Opera, English National Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra National de Paris, Salzburg Festival, and San Francisco Opera. Sellars has collaborated on the creation of many works with composer John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, and The Girls of the Golden West. He has guided the creation of premiere productions of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, Adriana Mater, and Only the Sound Remains, and staged works by Olivier Messiaen, Gyorgy Ligeti, Paul Hindemith, Osvaldo Golijov, and Tan Dun.

Recent productions include Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo for the Salzburg Festival, Vivier’s Kopernikus in Paris, and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at the Barbican Centre. Sellars has staged di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro and Schütz’ Musikalische Exequien for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In 2022, he staged the Roman de Fauvel at the Théâtre du Chatelet and created a production of composer Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light (Afterlife) with artwork by Julie Mehretu at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. Projects in 2023 include Tristan et Isolde at the Opéra National de Paris, Perle Noire: Meditations for Josephine at the Dutch National Opera, a concert staging of Adriana Mater as part of Sellars’ four-year collaboration with Esa-Pekka Salonen at the San Francisco Symphony, and a production of Charpentier’s Médée at the Staatsoper Berlin with Simon Rattle.

Sellars has led several arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals and the 2002 Adelaide Arts Festival. In 2006, he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a festival in Vienna celebrating Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary. He served as the Music Director of the 2016 Ojai Music Festival. Sellars is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, a curator of the Telluride Film Festival, and was a Mentor for the Rolex Arts Initiative. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Erasmus Prize for contributions to European culture, Gish Prize, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded the Polar Music Prize and been named Artist of the Year by Musical America. In 2021, Sellars was honored with the EBU-IMZ Lifetime Achievement Award for his body of opera video recordings.