Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim is the Caroline H. Hume Music Director of San Francisco Opera, where she began her tenure in 2021. Recently named The New York Times Breakout Star in Classical Music, she is a regular guest conductor at the world’s most important opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Bavarian Staatsoper, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Berlin, and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Her major orchestral engagements have included the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre national de France, Gothenburg Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic.
This season Kim continues a series of high-profile debuts, conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, as well as the New York Philharmonic. She makes debuts at Opéra national de Paris, leading Offenbach’s 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. She conducts Wagner’s Parsifal at Houston Grand Opera and concerts with Colorado Symphony and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona.
In Europe Eun Sun Kim has conducted orchestras in Bonn, Madrid, Malmö, Marseille, Milan, Lille, Nancy, Oslo, Palermo, Stuttgart, Turin, and Santiago de Compostela. In North America, her Los Angeles Philharmonic debut was quickly followed by engagements with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Detroit, Toronto, Cincinnati, and Seattle symphony orchestras. Her collaboration with the National Brass Ensemble, including a new arrangement of Wagner’s Ring cycle, was recently released by Pentatone on the album Deified.
Kim’s tenure at San Francisco Opera heralds a new vision for its second century, with Kim leading Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmélites, Verdi’s La traviata, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Puccini’s Tosca and Madama Butterfly, and the world premiere of John Adams’s 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 25 years.
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 First Prize in the International Jesús López Cobos Opera Conducting Competition at the Teatro Real Madrid.