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 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.
In the 2019-20 season Ms. Kim leads concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, L’orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and the symphony orchestras of San Diego, Cincinnati, Oregon and Seattle. She continues a series of important operatic debuts with the company premiere of Roberto Devereux at Los Angeles Opera and The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, and leads Salome in her triumphant return to Houston Grand Opera, where The New York Times pronounced her “a major star…with great sensitivity and flexibility.” Major upcoming debuts include subscription concerts with the New York Philharmonic and productions with the Wiener Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago and 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, Lille, Nancy, Palermo, Turin, Milwaukee, Calgary and Santiago de Compostela.
Eun Sun 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.