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Eun Sun Kim

About this Artist

Following “a company debut of astonishing vibrancy and assurance” (San Francisco Chronicle) in Rusalka, Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim was named the Caroline H. Hume Music Director of San Francisco Opera, where she began her tenure in 2021. She is a regular guest conductor at the world’s most important opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Berlin, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. On the heels of Ms. Kim’s Met debut, noted for an “assured technical command, subtlety and imagination,” The New York Times recognized her as Classical Music’s Breakout Star.

In the 23/24 season, Ms. Kim continues a series of high-profile debuts, conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. She also makes her first appearances at Opéra national de Paris, leading Les contes d’Hoffmann and the Maria Callas Centenary. At San Francisco Opera, she furthers her multi-season explorations of Verdi and Wagner repertoire with performances of Il trovatore and Lohengrin, and leads The Magic Flute, Opera Ball, and Opera in the Park. Elsewhere, she conducts Parsifal at Houston Grand Opera and additional concerts with Colorado Symphony and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona.

Ms. Kim’s major orchestral engagements include Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Gothenburg Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic. She has also conducted European orchestras in Bonn, Madrid, Malmö, Marseille, Milan, Lille, Nancy, Oslo, Palermo, Stuttgart, Turin, and Santiago de Compostela. In North America, her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was quickly followed by engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where she was hailed by the Business Courier as “impeccable…a dynamic presence, illuminating details of the score with clarity and expressive power.” Her collaboration with the National Brass Ensemble, including a new arrangement of Wagner’s Ring cycle, has just been released by Pentatone on the album Deified.

Ms. Kim’s tenure at San Francisco Opera heralds a new vision for its second century, with Kim on the podium for Dialogues of the Carmélites, La traviata, Fidelio, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra. With a growing North American presence, she has enjoyed operatic successes at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, where her debut earned her an appointment as the company’s first Principal Guest Conductor in twenty-five years and The New York Times pronounced her “a major star…with great sensitivity and flexibility.”

Ms. Kim maintains close connections in Europe, where she has recently conducted La bohème at Teatro alla Scala and Wiener Staatsoper, a staged Verdi Requiem with Dutch National Opera, Carmen at Opernhaus Zürich, and Hänsel und Gretel at Bayerische Staatsoper. She has been frequently engaged by Staatsoper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Royal Swedish Opera, Royal Danish Opera, and, and has celebrated successes in such varied repertoire as Ariadne auf Naxos, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La bohème, Die Csárdásfürstin, The Count of Luxembourg, Der Fliegende Holländer, Madama Butterfly, Un ballo in maschera, La sonnambula, La traviata, and Il trovatore.

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.