Born in Burgos, Spain in 1933, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos studied violin, piano, music theory, and composition at the conservatories in Bilbao and Madrid, and conducting at Munich’s Hochschule für Musik, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize. From 2004 to 2011, he was chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic, and in the 2012-13 season he began his post as Chief Conductor of the Danish National Orchestra.

A regular guest with North America’s top orchestras, Mr. Frühbeck will conduct the orchestras of New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Detroit, Saint Louis, Houston, Seattle, and the New World Symphony in the 2013-14 season.  In addition he appears annually at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Mr. Frühbeck has made extensive tours with such ensembles as the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Madrid, and the Swedish Radio Orchestra. He has toured North America with the Vienna Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra.

Named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2011, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos’s other numerous honors and distinctions include the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Bundesverdienstkreutz of the Republic of Austria and Germany, the Gold Medal from the Gustav Mahler International Society, and the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, Spain’s most important musical award, conferred in 1997 by the Queen of Spain. In 1998 Mr. Frühbeck was named conductor emeritus of the Spanish National Orchestra. He has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarra in Spain and since 1975 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. 

Mr. Frühbeck has recorded extensively for the EMI, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Spanish Columbia, and Orfeo labels. Highlights among his recordings include Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Saint Paul, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina burana, Bizet’s Carmen, and the complete works of Manuel de Falla. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1972.

(February 2014)

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