David Stern

David Stern‘s musical leadership is spread across three continents. He is the founder and director of the Paris-based opera company and period-instrument ensemble, Opera Fuoco, as well as artistic advisor and principal conductor of the Shanghai Baroque Festival and music director of opera at the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado. In 2015 he was appointed chief conductor of the Palm Beach Opera. Stern is known for his extensive range of repertoire. In his time as former music director of the Israel and the St. Gallen Opera houses, he championed 18th century opera and eclectic works such as Simone Mayr’s Medea, Berg’s Wozzeck, Britten’s Turn of the Scew and Weill’s Mahagonny. He will have premiered four new operas since 2010 – Gil Shohat’s The Child Dreams at the Israel Opera, Nicolas Bacri’s Cosi Fanciulli commissioned by Opera Fuoco and performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Ben Moore’s EnemiesA Love Story in Palm Beach and Jan Sandström’s The Rococo Machine in Drottningholm, Sweden in June 2016. With Opera Fuoco, he has recorded and re-premiered JC Bach’s opera Zanaida in Leipzig, Paris, Vienna and Malta and released a CD of French Romantic Cantataswith the mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes.

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Stern has enjoyed collaborations with international stage directors including David Alden, Stéphane Braunshweig, Jakob Peters-Messer, Aron Stiehl, Waut Koeken, Robin Guarino and Sam Helfrich. With Yoshi Oïda he created iconic settings of Britten’s Curlew River and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and with Francisco Negrin he led performances of Mozart’s Mitridate as artist in residence at the 2014 Drottningholm Opera Festival.


Stern is frequent guest around the globe with symphonic and chamber orchestras. He is regularly invited to the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphonies, the China Philharmonic, the New Russian Symphony, the National Orchestra of Mexico and has had recent appearances with the Vienna Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Before creating his own period-instrument ensemble David Stern was regular guest with Concerto Köln and the Basel Chamber Orchestra.


Since launching the Aix Festival Academy in 1998, David Stern has been committed to developing young voices. He created Opera Fuoco in 2003 as a platform to train young French singers in repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to John Cage, combining both an opera studio offering regular master classes and an opera company producing and co-producing larger concertante and staged productions. In 2016 he conducts the Magic Flute at the Juilliard School in New York and has been re-invited for baroque repertoire with the school’s Ensemble 415. As artistic advisor of the Shanghai Baroque Festival, he involves singers from the Shanghai Conservatory and the Opera Fuoco Studio, and he works regularly with the Young Artist Programs in Palm Beach and Crested Butte, Colorado.


Stern received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale and his Masters of Music from the Juilliard School. He resides in Paris with his wife, violinist Katharina Wolff, and his two daughters.



Christophe Pusek – Passée des Arts – 9 février 2014

Galvanisés par la direction très énergique de David Stern, les musiciens offrent une lecture pleine de contrastes et d’alacrité, mais qui n’oublie ni de prendre le temps de respirer, ni celui de s’émouvoir.

Sabino Pena Arcia – Classique News – 6 avril 2013

La cohésion de l’ensemble est vraiment impressionnante. Superbe travail interprétatif aux sonorités d’époque, aux voix jeunes et engagées d’une indéniable réussite.

© Tom Watson

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