Just in: Bayreuth names Finn to conduct next Ring

Just in: Bayreuth names Finn to conduct next Ring


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2019

The Bayreuth Festival has chosen the Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen to lead the 2020 new production of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Valentin Schwarz.

Inkinen has been chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbruecken Kaiserslautern since 2017, as well as chief conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Symphony. From 2008 to 2016 he was music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

In 2013 he conducted Opera Australia’s first full Ring Cycle, repeated three yyears later. In 2018 he led their production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed by Kasper Holten. He will conduct Tristan und Isolde for Opera Queensland next year, with Simon O’Neill, a regular partner, as Tristan.

It’s a bold choice on Bayreuth’s part.


  • Gustavo says:

    Any idea who will be leading Holländer in 2021?

  • Bogda says:

    He is chief conductor of Prague Symphony Orchestra as well

  • Petros Linardos says:

    I am surprised he debuts in Bayreuth with the Ring.

    The Bayreuth pit is unlike any other. Last time a conductor made his Bayreuth debut with the Ring was in 1983. That was Solti, no less. And yet it didn’t go well. Does anyone know why?

    • Guus Mostart says:

      In fact, Solti was superb and had a firm control of the Bayreuth orchestra and pit. One of the reasons the production was ultimately not successful had to do with the casting of Reiner Goldberg as Siegfried. After the dress rehearsal of Siegfried, Goldberg lost his voice and was replaced by Manfred Jung. Peter Hall had built the whole cycle around Goldberg and Hildegard Behrens. With hardly any rehearsal time left, Jung was thrown in at the deep end and saved the production. Solti then lost interest and cancelled the following years. Peter Hall briefly returned for the first revival in 1984 but did not appear in the subsequent years.

  • Musician says:

    He may be the next Tennstedt/Kleiber.

  • Michael Endres says:

    I remember an excellent Walkyrie with the NZSO in Christchurch, New Zealand, so it seems a good choice to me.

  • fflambeau says:

    O’Neal, who attended the Juilliard School, has sung at the Met and many major opera houses. He’s very talented.

  • Rina says:

    Wasn’t this the Ring that Daniele Gatti was supposed to conduct?

  • Axl says:

    Well done my fellow-Finn mate! We are proud of you!