Kent Nagano: a life in music | Arts.21 – The Cultural Magazine | DW

In a very personal interview with DW, 70-year-old American conductor Kent Nagano looks back on his life and work. He reflects on some formative experiences and encounters – such as why Leonard Bernstein was so influential for him and how he met Frank Zappa and studied his classical compositions.

Frank Zappa and Kent Nagano

He also remembers his long collaboration with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, whose sound continues to fascinate him. And he shares with us the secret of his close collaboration with his wife, pianist Mari Kodama.

Nagano also recounts some little-known anecdotes of his international career – such as his experience leading a Japanese choir – speaking only German and English – during a trip to Japan. Although Kurt Nagano is Japanese-American, he describes his own knowledge of Japanese as “almost non-existent”.

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