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Sir Donald Runnicles

Grand Teton Music Festival Extends Contract of Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles Through 2026

The Grand Teton Music Festival has extended Sir Donald Runnicles’ contract as Music Director for five more years through 2026, culminating in a 20-year tenure with the Festival. Maestro Runnicles will continue as Conductor Laureate for the 2027 season.

“The artistic growth of the Grand Teton Music Festival over the past 15 years is due to the outstanding musical leadership of Sir Donald Runnicles. We greatly look forward to the continuation of Maestro Runnicles’ tenure, as he delivers exceptional performances with our beloved Festival Orchestra for our community,” said Board Co-Chairs John Costello and Barbara McCelvey.

“These years with the extraordinary GTMF Festival Orchestra have been a defining period in my life, both musically and personally. I’m grateful for the board’s support, thrilled for the future, and incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together,” said Runnicles. “I’m looking forward to having us all come back together next summer, our 60th season, when we return home to the Festival we love. It’s my honor and privilege to make music and share it with our extended family in the beautiful surroundings of Jackson Hole.”

“Sir Donald Runnicles is one of the most significant musicians in the symphonic and operatic world—and he calls Jackson Hole his home away from home. A well-respected collaborator, I’m honored to partner with him for the next six seasons and to continue to build the legacy of our Festival as one of the world’s greatest,” said Executive Director Emma Kail.

Donald Runnicles also serves as the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In 2019 he took up the mantle of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s first ever Principal Guest Conductor. Additionally, he holds the title of Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, having served as Chief Conductor from 2009-16.

Sir Donald and Deutsche Oper Berlin were nominated this year for a GRAMMY® in the category of “Best Opera Recording” for the Naxos live recording of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (The Dwarf). Runnicles was also knighted for his service to music, as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020.

Read the full press release.