Garrett Keast

Biography

“He goes beyond just music; he strives to create an atmosphere and evoke feelings in the listener.”  - Opernnetz, Oper Bonn 

Garrett Keast has received worldwide attention for his ability to create galvanizing and soul-stirring experiences both in concert halls and opera houses. Praised for “leaving audiences hungry for more” (Basler Zeitung), the Berlin-based conductor is recognized for his vast repertoire experience. He is consistently admired for the enthusiasm and synergy he builds with musicians and audiences. 

Keast launched his career in New York City, quickly followed by international demand for his presence as a guest conductor. He regularly appears at venues including the Opéra National de Paris, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Munich’s Gasteig, the Staatsoper Hamburg, and Germany's largest concert house, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Described as drawing out “refined and concentrated playing” with “assured sensitivity” (Financial Times), Keast has conducted successful performances with orchestras such as the Tonkünstler Orchester Vienna, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Belgian National Orchestra, as well as conducting performances at Hamburg’s renowned Elbphilharmonie for its inaugural season. 



Always eager to serve as a cultural bridge between America and Europe, Keast is a prominent interpreter of repertoire from his homeland and continuously develops new and exciting programming. In recent seasons this American focus has brought him performances with the Tonkünstler Orchester Vienna, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, and with the Hamburg Ballet at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and the Staatsoper Hamburg. Garrett Keast is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berlin Academy of American Music, a newly founded chamber orchestra made up of world-class musicians sharing a common focus to perform and promote the greatest works of American and American immigrant composers. The orchestra’s debut recording, “Transatlantic”, is being released in October of 2021 on the ONYX Classics label and features soprano Chen Reiss, violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley and flutist Stathis Karapanos. 

Deeply committed to bringing new works to life, in the 2020 - 2022 seasons, Keast makes a return to the podium of the Elbphilharmonie with the TONALi Orchestra to lead the world premiere of BeEnigma, a work commissioned to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th-anniversary. The celebrations with the TONALi orchestra continue on tour with concerts in Berlin, Cologne, Lucerne and Vienna. He returns to the Staatsoper Hamburg for performances of John Neumeier’s Bernstein Dances and will take the production on tour with the Hamburg Ballet to Los Angeles. Further engagements include a Euroartsrecording of Peter and the Wolf with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, debut performances at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Hänsel und Gretel with the Berlin Opera Festival,  and a re-engagement at the Finnish National Opera & Ballet for the world premiere of Jekyll & Hyde featuring 20th-century masterworks by Polish composers Penderecki, Kilar, and Gorecki. In Berlin he will lead the inaugural concerts of the Berlin Academy of American Music followed by the orchestra’s first tour.With the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, he is invited to make his debut with two subscription weeks, firstly celebrating the optimism found in Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, followed by an American-music inspired program featuring works by Barber, Copland and Stravinsky. In the US, Keast returns to the San Antonio Symphony with a program that includes Poulenc's Gloria and as part of the Stravinsky anniversary, he will conduct the composer’s famed Firebird.
Future dates include a return to the Royal Swedish Opera and a debut at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.

With distinct performances leading over sixty symphony orchestras and more than twenty opera companies across four continents, the conductor’s experience on the podium showcases extraordinary range. His symphonic repertoire extends from Haydn and Brahms to Adams, Britten and Widmann. In the opera house, Keast has led masterworks of American composers such as Bernsteinand Glass to contemporary and iconic pieces by Unsuk Chin, Puccini, R. Strauss and Wagner. 

Throughout his career, Garrett Keast has been invited to conduct important international orchestras including the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, SWR Symphonie Orchester Stuttgart, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Operá National de Lorraine à Nancy (New Year’s Concerts), Atlanta Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra (Carl Nielsen Violin Competition), and the Prague Philharmonia.
 
Garrett Keast has conducted opera and ballet productions such as Faust and Swan Lake with the Opéra National de Paris, Die Zauberflöte with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Sylvia and Jekyll & Hyde with the Finnish National Opera & Ballet, La Bohème at the Aspen Music Festival, Der Fliegender Holländer at Theater Erfut, Rigoletto at Theater Bremen and Bluthaus at Oper Bonn. At the Staatsoper Hamburg, Keast has enjoyed a long relationship with John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet where he has led over one hundred performances of nine productions. Additionally, he has conducted performances at the Royal Danish Ballet, the Staatsoper Hannover, Opera San Antonio, New Orleans Opera, Virginia Opera, as well as a highly praised Così fan tutte at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. 

Garrett Keast was mentored by Christoph Eschenbach at the Houston Symphony and studied at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals. He was awarded the Bruno Walter Career Development Grantduring his tenure as Associate Conductor of the New York City Opera. Keast has held positions as Assistant Conductor at the Opéra National de Paris, the Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and has continuously accompanied Maestro Eschenbach as his musical assistant throughout international orchestra tours and opera productions.

Calendar
Repertoire

Opera Repertoire - Symphonic repertoire available upon request

John Adams

NIXON IN CHINA

Vincenzo Bellini

NORMA

Alban Berg

LULU

Leonard Bernstein

CANDIDE

Georges Bizet

CARMEN

Benjamin Britten

BILLY BUDD
PETER GRIMES

Unsuk Chin

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Gaetano Donizetti

D'ELISIR D'AMORE

Carlisle Floyd

SUSANNAH

Charles Gounod

FAUST/Wagner

Georg Friedrich Haas

BLUTHAUS

Georg Friedrich Händel

JULIUS CAESAR
RODELINDA
SEMELE

Paul Hindemith

MATHIS DER MALER

Engelbert Humperdinck

HÄNSEL UND GRETEL

Leoš Janácek

JENUFA

Ruggiero Leoncavallo

I PAGLIACCI

Pietro Mascagni

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

COSI FAN TUTTE
DON GIOVANNI
IDOMENEO
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE KV 620
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

Jacques Offenbach

HOFFMANNS ERZÄHLUNGEN

Francis Poulenc

DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES

Giacomo Puccini

TOSCA
GIANNI SCHICCHI
MADAMA BUTTERFLY
LA BOHÈME

Gioacchino Rossini

TANCREDI

Camille Saint-Saëns

SAMSON ET DALILA

Richard Strauss

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
DER ROSENKAVALIER

Igor Stravinsky

THE RAKE'S PROGRESS

Franz von Suppé

BOCCACCIO

Giuseppe Verdi

AIDA
FALSTAFF
LA TRAVIATA
OTHELLO
RIGOLETTO

Richard Wagner

DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN
DIE MEISTERSINGER
DIE WALKÜRE
LOHENGRIN
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE
Review
Mannheimer Morgen (Eckhart Britsch)
Wed, 2016-09-21
"Conductor Garrett Keast lends this composition from the New World, performed in the presence of its composer at the Rittersaal of the Mannheim Castle, purposeful drive, emphasizing the figurative and illustrative moments full of intensity and contrasts. On the whole, Keast seems to strive for dynamic accents…"
Full Orchestral Sound
Die Rheinpfalz (Gabor Halasz)
Wed, 2016-09-21
"The Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester opened its subscription cycle at the Mannheim Schloss with joyful playing and verve. The American conductor Garrett Keast, who lives in Berlin, conducted […]. With expansive conducting gestures, Keast emphasized […] stringent movement and accentuated, intense musical diction, while focusing on an rich, sonorous orchestral sound."
Wiener Zeitung
Tue, 2016-05-10
Die Szenen sind komprimiert, doch schlüssig, die Darsteller performen - wie allgemein beim Hamburg Ballett nicht anders zu erwarten - auf höchstem Niveau. […] Pure Dramatik vermittelt das Wiener Kammerorchester unter der Leitung von Garrett Keast.
Die Presse
Tue, 2016-05-10
Neumeier schickt diese Shakespear'schen Schicksale zur Musik von Mozart, Vivaldi und Michael Tippett auf die Bühne (das Wiener Kammerorchester unter Garrett Keast spielt engagiert und feinfühlig) […] Fulminant.
Kurier
Tue, 2016-05-10
„Shakespeare Dances“ hat geradezu Modellcharakter, wenn es um die Zusammenstellung eines Abends aus mehreren Stücken geht, in diesem Fall Ausschnitten aus drei Balletten Neumeiers. […] Das Wiener Kammerorchester unter der Leitung Garrett Keasts sorgt für eine musikalisch stilistische Vielfalt.
Fabiuskulturshockblog, Fabian Stallknecht
Tue, 2014-10-07
“In keeping with the concept and the cast of singers, conductor Garrett Keast also cultivates a modern Mozart style, emphasizing agogics and transparency. The orchestra, made up of musicians of the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester from Mannheim and the Stuttgarter Symphoniker, follows him with a warm and flexible sound and is invariably an attentive partner for the singers.” Cosi fan tutte, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, 07.10.2014
Garrett Keast conducts “A dazzling Cosi fan tutte at the Fort Worth Opera Festival”
The Dallas Morning News
Thu, 2014-02-27
Under the baton of Garrett Keast, the Fort Worth Opera Festival presented “the operatic experience of the year” with its production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The review continues: “Smartly led by Garrett Keast, members of the Fort Worth Symphony match the singers’ expressive range and dramatic specificity; some of the quieter wind playing is exquisite. […], Keast deserves much credit for the amazing tautness of the vocal ensembles.”
Hamburger Abendblatt
Tue, 2013-09-17
“Under the baton of Garrett Keast, the members of the [Hamburg] Philharmonic, … played the complex, dance-inflected music by Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt and others, swinging in all its facets, intensely and atmospherically.”
Leipziger Volkszeitung
Tue, 2013-02-26
“Keast gave Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 a powerful and hearty performance.” "... a balanced string sound, beautiful and sonorous orchestral solos …” MDR Sinfonieorchester, Leipzig Gewandhaus
Bleatmag
“An almost perfect orchestra under the young conductor Garrett Keast.” Faust, Opera National de Paris, October 2011
Financial Times
"Garrett Keast draws refined and concentrated playing from the SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and shapes Haas’s score with assured sensitivity.” Shirley Apthorp Bluthaus, Georg Friedrich Haas, Oper Bonn, September 2011
Press Service

Photo: Kiran West

Photo: Kiran West

Photo: Kiran West

Photo: Kiran West

Photo: Kiran West

Media
1. Garrett Keast conducts Beethoven, A Film Portrait // 2. Bernstein's Songfest in Berlin, A Work for Today // 3. Bernstein, Candide Overture, NDR Jugendsinfonieorchester // 4. Release the Keast - The story of our Elbphilharmonie concerts // 5. Britten, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, NDR Jugendsinfonieorchester // 6. Garrett Keast - A Portrait by Kiran West (2018)
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Embedded thumbnail for Garrett Keast
Embedded thumbnail for Garrett Keast
Embedded thumbnail for Garrett Keast
Embedded thumbnail for Garrett Keast
Embedded thumbnail for Garrett Keast

Representation:
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