Dirk Kaftan was appointed General Music Director of the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the municipal opera house at the beginning of the 2017/18 season. During the new season, Dirk Kaftan is present in opera and concert: In addition to numerous concerts, he conducts Richard Strauss’ opera “Arabella” and Giacomo Meyerbeer’s rarely performed opera “Feldlager in Schlesien”. He continues the successful concert series “Grenzenlos” and “Im Spiegel”, which brought him together with artists such as Martin Grubinger, Yasmin Levy, ensembles like Kardeş Türküler, and minds like Peter Sloterdijk and Rafik Schami. He is looking forward to working with Cameron Carpenter and Lucienne Renaudin Vary among others, during the season of 2021/2022. For the Beethoven anniversary year, he was the initiator and driving force behind a whole series of projects such as the “Beethoven Lounges”, “Hofkapelle” and “Beethoven Moves!” which dealt with the famous son of the city of Bonn. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he developed new concert formats such as “Beethoven Pur”, in which Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies could be performed in a chamber music setting.
Kaftan’s wide-ranging repertoire comprises greatly acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s symphonies, Nono’s “Intolleranza 1960”, “The Merry Widow”, and various intercultural projects, which allow him to work with musicians and music from different countries, among them the Balkans, Turkey, Israel, and Iraq.
Dirk Kaftan is a welcome guest at major theaters, most recently with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Ensemble Modern and with an acclaimed Tristan at the Hanover State Opera. He has staged at the Volksoper in Vienna and the Royal Opera in Copenhagen and conducted performance series in Berlin and Dresden. In 2016, he conducted Miroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise at the Bregenz Festival.
While rejoicing in his various guest appearances, Dirk Kaftan’s work for the house he is in charge of, always remains at the centre of his commitment. His concern for his own ensemble, orchestra, and choir is a trait that musicians and colleagues appreciate. This conception of how to execute his task derives from his first appointments as Kapellmeister at the theaters of Trier, Bielefeld, and Münster, and even more so as first Kapellmeister in Dortmund and Graz and it even intensified when he assumed the post of General Music Director in Augsburg and chief conductor in Graz.
Audiences and critics alike appreciate his work, and highly acclaimed CDs are available: Most recently, 2019 saw the release of Beethoven’s Egmont, his first production with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, which was enthusiastically received by critics and awarded the OPUS KLASSIK in 2020. Before that, he recorded productions such as “Der ferne Klang”, “Jenufa” and “Die griechische Passion” in Graz and Augsburg. Primarily for his concerts and the dedication to an active communication with the public, he was awarded the Karl-Böhm-Interpretations-Preis by the state Steiermark.
His credo is “approaching people” and “combining forces”. This shows in the results of Dirk Kaftan’s work. Whether dealing with musicians or with the audience – to him, music is always interexchange of what one does and what one hears. Bonn’s General Music Director apprehends music as an essential part of life. Music is an invitation to think along, sympathize, and participate.