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Payare Conducts Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder 2024-2025

Joined by renowned soloists and commanding colossal vocal and instrumental means, Rafael Payare conducts a monument of the post-Romantic repertoire: Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder.

Season Presenting Partner

Rafael Payare

Music Director

Rafael Payare’s prodigious musicianship, technical brilliance and charismatic presence on the podium have made him one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. A graduate of the celebrated El Sistema music education program in Venezuela, Mr. Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. Since winning the prestigious Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Denmark in 2012, Maestro Payare’s career has advanced rapidly. Since 2015, he has served as Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival, founded by his mentor the late Lorin Maazel. He was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra from 2014 to 2019 and in 2019, took up the position of Music Director of the San Diego Symphony. In recent years, Rafael Payare has conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including those of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, London, Munich, Chicago and Paris. He has also made important opera debuts at the Glyndebourne Festival, Stockholm’s Royal Swedish Opera, the Royal Danish Opera, and most recently at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the 2022-2023 season, Payare became the ninth Music Director in the history of the OSM.

To consult:
Long biography

Clay Hilley


American Heldentenor Clay Hilley has won critical acclaim for his “vocal heft, clarion sound and stamina” (New York Times), and for performances described as “close to perfection—powerful, subtle, intelligent, every word crystal clear” (Financial Times). He continues to garner success in an ever-growing list of opera’s most celebrated heroic roles. After stepping into the premiere of Bayreuth’s new Götterdämmerung at a day’s notice in 2022, Hilley returned to the Festival as Tristan, one of several Wagnerian roles now featuring prominently on his operatic agenda. As an accomplished artist on the world’s leading concert stages, recent highlights include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Houston Symphony. Clay Hiley alos returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Siegfried, as well as giving a house debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in the title role of Parsifal. 


Andrew Megill


Andrew Megill is recognized as one of the leading choral conductors of his generation, known for his unusually wide-ranging repertoire, extending from early music to newly composed works. He has prepared choruses for the American Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the National Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic, and he has worked with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, Kurt Masur, and Kent Nagano. He is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Illinois and serves as Associate Conductor and Director of Choral Activities of the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as Artistic Director of the ensemble Fuma Sacra. He taught at Westminster Choir College and has been a Guest Conductor for the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Broadcast by Public Radio International and the BBC, his work can be heard on numerous recordings, including those of Magnussen’s Psalm (Albany Records), Haydn’s Masses (Naxos), and works by Caleb Burhans (Cantaloupe).