Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Conductor Arthur Fagen joins IU Jacobs School of Music faculty

Feb. 26, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The IU Jacobs School of Music announced today (Feb. 26) that Maestro Arthur Fagen has been appointed as Professor of Music in instrumental conducting. Fagen will commence his activities in Bloomington in the fall of 2008.

In great demand as a conductor of orchestras and opera in Europe, Asia and the U.S., Fagen has developed a growing relationship with the Jacobs School of Music, including a performance with the IU Symphony Orchestra in October 2007.

"I am delighted to be joining the distinguished faculty of IU's Jacobs School of Music," said Fagen. "During my recent residency, I attended both concerts and an opera performance, which confirmed my opinion that Indiana University has one of the finest orchestral and operatic programs in the world. I have always had a passion for working with young orchestral musicians, conductors and singers, and I am very happy to be able to devote more time to this pursuit during the coming years."

Fagen is a former assistant conductor to Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Frankfurt Opera and James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. Since then, his opera conducting activities have been marked by a string of notable guest appointments, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Munich State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin and New York City Opera. He has an opera repertoire of more than 70 works.

On the orchestral podium, Fagen has appeared with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Orchestra della RAI (Torino, Naples, Milano, Roma), and the Bergen Philharmonic, among many others.

"The range of his musical abilities and his vast knowledge of the repertoire makes Arthur Fagen a perfect fit with Indiana University," said Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards. "The faculty who know him well hold him in the highest regard and relish the chance to have him in Bloomington, shaping the young musical lives of our students."

Professor David Effron, chair of the Orchestral Conducting Department, is delighted with the news of Fagen's appointment. "I look forward to working with my friend, Arthur Fagen, a musician I have known for 35 years," he said. "Equally experienced in symphonic and operatic conducting, Arthur brings a comprehensive knowledge of the repertoire in both genres, as well as a 'spiritual' approach to his music-making and teaching. His commitment to teaching and making music, as well as his humanity, will be a welcome addition to our department and school."

"It will be a great joy to have Maestro Arthur Fagen making music here at the Jacobs School of Music," said Carol Vaness, professor of music in voice. "My experience of him as the conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Don Carlo [by Giuseppe Verdi], which I sang in 1997, was an excellent one. I found him to be not only musically inspiring but also caring and concerned about the communication between the stage and the pit for the goal of making great music. He is a terrific addition to the Jacobs School."

From 2002 to 2007, Fagen was the music director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. Following his successful concerts with the Dortmund Philharmonic at the "Grosse Festspielhaus in Salzburg," Fagen and the Dortmund Philharmonic were invited to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Palais de Beaux Arts in Brussels, as well as tours in Salzburg, Beijing and Shanghai.

For the 2008-2009 season, Fagen is the principal guest conductor of the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, Italy.

Recent opera productions conducted by Fagen include Ariadne auf Naxos with the Haydn Orchestra, Ballo in Maschera at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and two Ring Cycles. Additionally in 2006, he conducted the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Nuernberg Philharmonic and Teatro Massimo Palermo.

Fagen was born in New York, where he began his conducting studies with Laszlo Halasz. He continued his education at Wesleyan University and the Curtis Institute under the guidance of Max Rudolf. Further studies continued both at the Salzburg Mozarteum and with Hans Swarowsky. Fagen was first prizewinner of the "Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conductors Competition," as well as prizewinner of the "Gino Marinuzzi International Conductors' Competition" in Italy.

Future plans for Fagen include engagements with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Opera de Nice, Hannover State Opera, Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur, Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canarias (Las Palmas), Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Pamplona), Berliner Symphoniker (for recordings), Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo and the Busoni Festival. He will conduct next season's productions of Akhnaten by Philip Glass and Wagner's Flying Dutchman with the Atlanta Opera, and Beethoven's Fidelio with Portland Opera.

Fagen has recorded for BMG, Naxos and CRI, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SFB and WDR Cologne. Plans are in place for a complete recording of the Martinu piano concerti and the CD release of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies with the Staatskapelle Weimar (both for Naxos).

What The Critics Are Saying About Arthur Fagen's Work:

"The orchestra in Dortmund under Arthur Fagen's direction performs the music exactly as it's written -- with beaming colors and illuminating sounds. He conducts the overpowering score with great sensitivity for sound."

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, April 17, 2007

"Who would have thought that the Dortmund Philharmonic is developing into a world class orchestra? Arthur Fagen has been conducting them since 2002. He was the most appreciated student of the famous Maestro Max Rudolf. Fagen led the orchestra intelligently, and under his sensible leadership, Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture was heard in refreshing brilliance."

"It has been a long time since this program sounded so musical and so balanced. It ended with an exciting Figaro overture to conclude a splendid concert conducted by a superb leader."

Salzburger Nachrichten, Nov. 10, 2006

"Nabucco -- a highlight during the season: Musically speaking, this is one of the best productions of the last years. Arthur Fagen leads the Philharmonic with utmost precision. This was an unforgettable Verdi."

Ach, May 2005

"Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes was performed by the Dortmund Philharmonic under Arthur Fagen with the greatest expressivity."

Von Burkhard Sauerwald, WR, Feb. 16, 2005

"The public rejoiced over the musical interpretation of Fidelio, as conducted by Arthur Fagen."

B. Kempen, December 2004

"The orchestra's and Maestro Fagen's only aim is to provide the singers with transparent sound . . . The orchestra sounds superb and is well worth hearing . . . "

Berlin Online Music Magazine, November 2003