Finish conductor Pietari Inkinen will make his debut at Bayreuth Festival next year when he conducts a new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The four operas will be steered by Austrian director and winner of the Ring Award 2017, Valentin Schwarz.
In a statement, Inkinen said: “It is a tremendous honour for me to join the long list of legendary colleagues who have had the privilege to conduct this ultimate masterpiece of music drama in the unique conditions of the Festspielhaus. As with so many others, both performances and audiences alike, I was incurably bitten by the Wagner bug at an early stage.”
In 2013 Inkinen conducted Opera Australia’s first complete Ring Cycle in a production directed by Neil Armfield. In 2016, he returned to Melbourne to conduct the production’s revival, for which he received a Green Room award for Best Conductor in an Opera.In September 2017, he was appointed chief conductor of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern. He has been chief conductor of Japan Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2016-17 season. In 2018 Inkinen was on the podium for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed by Kasper Holten.
Inkinen, who was music director of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra from 2008-15, is an experienced conductor of Wagner’s operatic works, having also tackled Die Walküre and Das Rhinegold.
The Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth kicks off 25 July 2020 with a new production of Tannhäuser.