San Francisco Opera has just rolled out its next music director.
She is Eun Sun Kim, 39, and she comes recommended by Kirill Petrenko of the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Barenboim of the Berlin State Opera, having served as assistant to both men.
She succeeds Nicola Luisotti, whose nine-year term ended in 2018.
Kirill Petrenko published this message: Eun Sun Kim is a colleague who not only exhibits the level of seriousness necessary for a conductor, but also one who has continually developed her talent and abilities through tireless effort and the appropriate self-critical approach to her work. I believe that now is the right moment for her to bring her extensive experience from recent years to a high-level opera house and to have the opportunity to realize her own artistic vision. Likewise, I am convinced that with the appointment of Ms. Kim the San Francisco Opera is getting a remarkable personality as its next music director.
And Daniel Barenboim said: While observing the development of Ms. Kim’s international career, I have always found her to be a musician who takes the role of conductor with the utmost seriousness and who holds the responsibilities thereof above all else. Accordingly, she continues to retain her curiosity for music and her desire to improve in all aspects of her career. I was delighted to hear of Ms. Kim’s appointment as the new music director of the San Francisco Opera and wish her and the company all the very best.
UPDATE: Kim was married for a while to Michael Lewin, Petrenko’s agent, a situation which she described once as a mixed blessing for her career. The marriage ended in divorce 4-5 years ago.