James Gaffigan is considered one of the most outstanding young American conductors working today. He made his professional opera debut at the Zurich Opera in June 2005 conducting La Boheme, and he recently completed a three-year tenure as associate conductor with the San Francisco Symphony. There, he assisted Michael Tilson Thomas and was artistic director of the orchestra's Summer in the City festival. In the 2010-2011 season, he led the Munich and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Bournemouth Symphony, the Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras and made debuts with the Dresden Staatskappelle, Sydney Symphony and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2011, Gaffigan will be Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Born in New York City in 1979, Gaffigan studied at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, the Juilliard School Preparatory Division, and then graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. He earned his Masters of Music in conducting at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston.