Afkham was a model of physical grace and musical purpose on the podium. His left hand traced broad arcs of sound while his right hand articulated beats and phrases with the utmost clarity and precision. Every interpretative choice was well motivated and grounded in an ability to maintain orchestral control that was exacting, yet never rigid. Always in evidence was a keen sense of what each score was about, structurally and expressively. And the orchestra came through marvellously for him.
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Spanish National Orchestra and Chorus.
David Afkham is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orquestra y Coro Nacional de España since September 2019, following a highly successful tenure as the orchestra’s Principal Conductor since 2014. His work with the OCNE so far has featured critically acclaimed performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Bruckner Symphony No. 9, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Brahms’ Requiem, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Bach’s Mass in B Minor as well as several world premieres and semi-staged projects with Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, Strauss’ Elektra and Salome, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Born in Freiburg, Germany, in 1983, David Afkham is in high demand as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras and opera houses, and has established a reputation as one of the most sought after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years.
Future highlights as a guest conductor include his debut with the Orchestre National de Lyon and return invitations to the Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Copenhagen Philharmonic. In 2022/23, David will also conduct Strauss’ Arabella at Teatro Real, Madrid.