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Conductor Kazem Abdullah joins Athlone Artists

One of the Daily Beast’s“Rockstar(s) of the conducting world” looks to Athlone for Representation in Europe and other Territories Outside North America

 “Abdullah provided sensitive and attentive accompaniment…the standout performance of the entire season” —Florida Times-Union

Athlone Artists is pleased to be representing conductor Kazem Abdullah for international representation in Europe and other territories.

American born and trained, conductor Kazem Abdullah makes his home in Nürnberg, Germany, having recently completed a five-year Music and Artistic Directorship in the City of Aachen. During his tenure there, Abdullah conducted over 25 operas and collaborated with musicians such as Johannes Moser, Lise de la Salle, Angela Gheorghiu, Augustin Haedelich, and Midori.

Mr. Abdullah made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2009 – at the age of 29 –  conducting “a confident performance” (New York Times) of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. He has also worked with the Atlanta Opera, where he conducted Così fan tutte, and the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris, where he led sold-out performances of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. He recently conducted an opera Gala for the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda for Cape Town Opera. “Kazem Abdullah was a rock for his cast and orchestra” (Opera News) in the American premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain with the New York City Opera in 2018.

A passionate advocate of new music as well as established repertoire, Mr. Abdullah’s recent orchestral credits include the symphony orchestras of Oregon, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. Notable recent engagements have included leading the Orquestra de São Paulo on its third coast-to-coast tour of the United States, conducting the New World Symphony’s 2009 Ives In-Context Festival by special invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas, and substituting on short notice to conduct the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group. This summer, Mr. Abdullah will bring his unique style of “superb, sensitively detailed conducting” (Financial Times) to the amphitheater at Chautauqua for a concert featuring the festival orchestra and school of dance.

“I first became acquainted with Maestro Abdullah in 2009 when I attended a performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice which he conducted at the Metropolitan Opera,” says Athlone President Miguel Rodriguez. “I remember being impressed with his ability to make a staple of the Baroque repertory feel and sound very intimate in such a big house like the Met. So, when we met in Germany last month, and we talked about his vision for his career going forward, I knew I wanted to work with him.”

When asked why he is looking to Athlone Artists to bolster his blossoming international career, Kazem says, “I am excited to work with Miguel Rodriguez and Athlone because he knows both sides of the business. He is a trained tenor and had a career as a singer in both Europe and the United States, and then went on to be on the business side as an executive director and administrator.  Because of this lifelong experience on both sides, he is in a great position to understand both the needs of the artist and presenter.”

Kazem is grateful to the teachers that recognized his young talent at the Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton, OH and encouraged him to continue studying, first at the Interlochen Arts Academy, then Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the University of Southern California. He went on to perform extensively as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist, spending two seasons as a member of the New World Symphony and performing as a soloist with Cincinnati and National Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed with the Paris-based Trio Wanderer and the Auryn Quartet.

Mr. Abdullah is now driven to share his love of classical music with the world around him. A dedicated educator, he has worked with student band and orchestras in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Interlochen, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, Tanglewood, and at universities in Cologne, Aachen, and Stellenbosch, South Africa. He was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award by his alma mater, CCM where he worked with students and spoke at their commencement in 2015.

“I feel very lucky that I was introduced to music, and I’ve always sought to have younger people have the same opportunities as I had.” “I want to ensure that this art form continues to be understood and accepted,” he says, “and I want kids to know that no matter where you come from in the world, all demographics can connect to and understand classical music.”