James Allen Gähres

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James Allen Gähres
James Allen Gähres (2011).jpg
James Allen Gähres in 2011
Born (1944-08-05) August 5, 1944 (age 73)
Harrisburg, United States of America
Years active 1969–present
Style Symphonic music, Opera

James Allen Gähres (born August 5, 1944 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an American music conductor with an international career.


James Allen Gähres was born in 1944 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Gähres studied music, conducting, composition and piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where he was musical assistant of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in his final study year, and as a Fulbright-Fellowship holder with Hans Swarovsky in Vienna. He attended Master classes with Bruno Maderna in Salzburg.[1]


His conducting career began after several years as a freelance Composer and Pianist in Southern Germany. James Gähres worked as a conductor at several opera houses in Germany, including 10 years as first Kapellmeister at the Staatsoper Hannover in Hanover, where he conducted about 15 different Opera and Musical theatre productions per season, for ten years.[2] Then he was engaged as the first conductor at the Staatstheater Braunschweig for three years.

James A. Gähres worked repeatedly as guest conductor at the New York City Opera, the Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele,[3] the Polish Grand Theatre, Poznan, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Hannover, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he was invited by Götz Friedrich to conduct the German premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Candide -Scottish Opera version- in the production of John Dew with Donald George in the title role,[4] in May 1989.[5][6] Gähres conducted a Beethoven gala-concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris and, invited by the Fritz-Busch-society, a gala performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Orchestra of the South Westphalia Philharmonic on the occasion of the 1st anniversary of the German reunification.

Several times James Allen Gähres conducted the Lower Saxony Youth Symphony Orchestra[7] on concert tours, in Israel, Spain, the United States and Canada. In the fall of 1993, he gave guest performances with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Saarland[8] in France and with the same orchestra, he was invited to England to conduct several concerts in Oxford.

James Allen Gähres conducting a philharmonic concert (2011)

From 1994 to 2011 James Allen Gähres was Generalmusikdirektor (General Music Director, GMD) at the Theater Ulm, in Ulm (Germany),[9] where he conducted several Opera productions per season. James A. Gähres also conducted all philharmonic concerts at this period, including among others all symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, as well as piano and violin concertos by these composers. Symphonies, piano concertos, violin concertos and other works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz, Modest Mussorgsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Antonín Dvořák, William Schuman, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Edward Elgar, Charles Ives, Rodion Shchedrin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Jean Sibelius, Max Bruch, Alban Berg, Béla Bartók and Richard Strauss.[10] At the same time he conducted the Ulm Philharmonic Orchestra as Chief conductor. The concert repertoire of James Gähres includes, inter alia, the works of First Viennese School, of musical Romanticism, through to the emotional modernism of Béla Bartók. Gähres made his successful debut at the Theater Ulm as Music director in September 1994, when he conducted Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. Angela Denoke sang the title role in this production.[11] This was also her debut as 'The Marschallin'.[12] The opera repertoire of James A. Gähres comprises amongst others: Rigoletto, Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Doktor Faust, Il trovatore, Don Carlos, Otello, Così fan tutte, The Magic Flute, La forza del destino, Norma, Attila, Macbeth, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Werther, The Flying Dutchman, Tosca, Eugene Onegin, Elektra, Fidelio, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tannhäuser, Andrea Chénier, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Eine florentinische Tragödie, Der Zwerg, Bluebeard's Castle, Wozzeck, Die tote Stadt and Salome. In his position as Music Director and Chief conductor, James A. Gähres founded the tradition of the New Year's concerts and of the Herbert von Karajan Memorial concerts[13] with the Ulm Philharmonic Orchestra in the CCU Einsteinsaal in Ulm. Furthermore, more than 15 CDs were published in his era as Chief conductor, amongst others the first live recordings of Carmen-Suite after Bizet, Self-portrait and Two Tangos by Albéniz by Rodion Shchedrin.[14]

James Allen Gähres after conducting a philharmonic concert

As guest conductor, James Allen Gähres conducted, inter alia, Rigoletto at the Opernhaus Dortmund as well as Rigoletto and Norma at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. The Magic Flute followed at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.[15] He was invited to conduct a symphony concert with works by Beethoven and Bartók at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples. Gähres conducted the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at concerts in Regensburg and the Philharmonic Orchestra Erfurt in some symphony concerts, among others with Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 and the Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 by Shostakovich at the Oper Erfurt. James A. Gähres was guest conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, West Virginia[16] as well as of the Meiningen Court Orchestra in Meiningen, where he conducted a program of works by Hector Berlioz, Ottorino Respighi, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.

Gähres was invited at the Meiningen Court Theatre in 2008[17] and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in January and February 2011 to conduct some performances of Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano.[18] In the same year he conducted, invited by Ulf Schirmer, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the Leipzig Opera.

In January 2016 James Gähres conducted several New Year's Concerts of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Theater für Niedersachsen in Hildesheim.[19]

James A. Gähres conducted concerts at the LA PALMA FESTIVAL DE MÚSICA[20] at the Teatro Circo de Marte, Santa Cruz de La Palma in June 2016. On June 15, 2016 a symphony concert[21] with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch,[22] another concert[23] on June 18, 2016 with The Hebrides by Felix Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 1 and the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms.[24]

Discography (selection)[edit]


  1. ^ Schniederjürgen, Axel. Kürschners Musiker-Handbuch (Kürschner's German Music Handbook), 2006, page 130, Publisher: De Gruyter Gähres, James Allen Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ Hammer, Sabine. Oper in Hannover, 1990, Publisher: Schlütersche Verlagsgesellschaft, ISBN 3-87706-298-9 [1] Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. ^ Archiv Theater Heidelberg Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele - Conductor Retrieved April 19, 2017
  4. ^ Grosses Sängerlexikon, Band 4 von Karl-Josef Kutsch, Leo Riemens George, Donald - Tenor Retrieved 14 May 2016
  5. ^ Boosey&Hawkes, the home of contemporary music Calendar May1989 - Leonard Bernstein: Candide Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  6. ^ Playbill of Deutsche Oper Berlin Bernstein, Candide Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  7. ^ Jugendsinfonieorchester Niedersachsen "Bisherige Dirigenten" Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. ^ Landes-Jugend-Symphonie-Orchester-Saar "Bisherige Dirigenten" Archived 2016-05-25 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  9. ^ Theater Ulm "Generalmusikdirektor, Theater Ulm" Archives website Theater Ulm. Retrieved 13 May 2016,
  10. ^ "The Era James Allen Gähres at the Theatre Ulm", in the book 'Musikland Baden-Württemberg: Basis und Spitze', Page 181 et seqq, Publisher: Kohlhammer, ISBN 978-3-17-019428-1 [2]. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  11. ^ Kanold, Jürgen (May 26, 2011 Weltstar Angela Denoke, Südwest Presse. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  12. ^ Denoke, Angela (May 26, 2011) Marschallin, Südwest Presse. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  13. ^ Official Herbert von Karajan - online archive Herbert von Karajan Memorial concerts Retrieved 25 May 2016
  14. ^ Great Moments Vol.1 Ulm Philharmonic, James Allen Gähres, Shchedrin Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  15. ^ Schniederjürgen, Axel. Kürschners Musiker-Handbuch (Kürschner's German Music Handbook), 2006, page 130 Gähres, James Allen Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  16. ^ Charleston Daily Mail (August 2, 1999) Guest conductor puts on a great concert Retrieved 23 May 2016
  17. ^ Osthessen News (March 14, 2008) "Sehr schwierig und sehr schön". Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  18. ^ Deutsche Oper Berlin "Andrea Chénier", Magazin der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Nr.10, Spielzeit 2010–11, Page 29. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  19. ^ HAZ Redaktion (January 3, 2016) "Wie aus der Vergangenheit Gegenwart wird", Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  20. ^ La Revista de Ocio y Cultura de La Palma (10 May 2016) "Intérpretes de renombre internacional en el Festival de Música de La Palma". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  21. ^ Festival de Música Concert June 15, 2016, Asociación Cultural Amigos Palmeros de la Opera. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  22. ^ El Time (June 16, 2016) Los sonidos imposibles de Silberger. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  23. ^ Festival de Música Concert June 18, 2016, Asociación Cultural Amigos Palmeros de la Opera. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  24. ^ El Time (June 19, 2016) Culmina el Festival de Música de La Palma con 'broche de oro'. Retrieved 13 July 2016.

External links[edit]