Finnegan Downie DearCONDUCTOR
Finnegan came to international attention in 2020, when he was awarded first prize at the Bamberger Symphoniker’s International Mahler Competition. The jury spoke of his ‘rare combination of open heart and brilliant mind’, with ‘an ability to evoke truly magical moments as if there were nothing more natural to do’.
In the 22/23 season he will debut at the Staatsoper Berlin (Janáček The Makropulos Case) as well as working with the Staatskapelle Berlin in concert. He will also debut with orchestras including Camerata Salzburg, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Tampere Philharmonic and the Adelaide, Baltimore, Bournemouth, Polish National Radio and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras, as well as returning to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Recent important engagements include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Filarmonica di Bologna, Borusan Philharmonic Istanbul and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2021, he returned to Bamberg for subscription concerts with Thomas Hampson.
In future seasons Finnegan will conduct new productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Theater an der Wien. Previous opera experience includes Die tote Stadt at Polish National Opera, Hänsel und Gretel at Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Korean National Opera, Le nozze di Figaro at Royal Swedish Opera, Don Giovanni at Nevill Holt Opera and Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Underground at the Royal Opera House.
Since 2014 he has been music director of Shadwell – an East London company that works with exceptional young musicians to champion contemporary British repertoire and experiment with new operatic forms. The company’s production of Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are toured to the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg in 2019; and to Bamberg in 2022 for performances with the Bamberger Symphoniker.
Born in London, Finnegan graduated with distinction from Cambridge University (musicology) and the Royal Academy of Music (piano). He subsequently worked as an assistant to Simone Young, Thomas Adès, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding and Richard Baker.