David Afkham © Gisela Schenker


David Afkham joins KD SCHMID for General Management

It is with great pleasure that we welcome conductor David Afkham to our roster for General Management.

Known for his impeccable technique and compelling artistry, David Afkham has received worldwide acclaim and is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. Afkham is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, a position he has held since September 2019. Prior to this role, Afkham enjoyed a highly successful tenure as the orchestra's Principal Conductor since 2014.

Afkham’s impressive career has been marked by a series of critically acclaimed performances and collaborations with some of the world's leading orchestras. He has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Staatskapelle Berlin, Münchner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre National de France, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and NHK Symphony Orchestra to name but a few. On tour, he has appeared with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

A regular guest conductor in North America, Afkham has previously led the Boston Symphony in Tanglewood, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony. Recent successes at the opera pit, include performances of Richard Strauss's Arabella at the Semperoper Dresden and a new production of the work at the Teatro Real, Madrid.  

Managing Director Karen McDonald says: "David is an incredibly talented conductor with a marvellous and captivating personality. His profoundly thoughtful approach to a wide repertoire and prominent stage presence is truly remarkable. We are thrilled to welcome David Afkham for general management and anticipate the exciting journey that lies ahead together. Welcome to KD SCHMID!”

In the 2023/24 season Afkham will make his debuts with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Detroit Symphony and will return to Minnesota Orchestra, among others. This week, he will lead the season-opening concerts in Madrid with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España on September 22, 23, and 24. The program will feature Elgar's Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann as the soloist and Rachmaninov's Choral Symphony ‘The Bells’.

David Afkham says: "I immediately felt at home with KD Schmid: great expertise, passionate people and inspiring ideas. I am very much looking forward to this partnership.“