Kai Bumann

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Kai Bumann
Born(1961-08-16)16 August 1961
West Berlin, Germany
Died2 June 2022(2022-06-02) (aged 60)
Nowy Targ, Poland
  • Conductor
  • Academic teacher
Awards Geneva International Music Competition

Kai Bumann (16 August 1961 [1] – 2 June 2022) was a German conductor who led orchestras and opera companies mainly in Poland, such as the Opera Krakowska, Warsaw Chamber Opera and the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. He was conductor and artistic director of the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra (SJSO) from 1998 until his death.



Born in 1961 in West Berlin, [2] Bumann studied at the Berlin University of the Arts [3] and first worked as répétiteur, from 1986 at Theater Trier and from 1988 at Theater Freiburg. [2] In 1989, he became the 1st Kapellmeister at the Landestheater Detmold, [2] where he was interim Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) the following season. [4] [3] He was in the same position at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden in the 1996/97 season. [2] [5]

In 1997, he became chief conductor of the Opera Krakowska. [2] [3] [6] He first conducted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1998, followed by regular appearances until 2003. [2] [6] The same year, he also became conductor and artistic director of the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra (SJSO), [2] [7] a position he held until his death. [3] In 2016 they performed at Tonhalle St. Gallen. [8] He celebrated the orchestra's 50th anniversary in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a reduced group. [7] In 2021, he led the orchestra in an event of the Lucerne Festival, themed "Music for Future". They played Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 and Beethoven's First Symphony, standing throughout, with well-balanced sound and dedication to detail. [9] In April 2022 they were part of Through the Night's episode "Europe's Young Performers", a BBC Radio 3 program. [10]

Bumann was musical director of the Warsaw Chamber Opera from 2003 to 2013, [2] beginning with Verdi's Falstaff . They toured to France, Spain, and to Japan in 2004 and 2006. [6] He was also chief conductor of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic from 2008 to 2012. [2] From 2013, he was first guest conductor of the Łódź Philharmonic. [11] [12]

Bumann was chief conductor of the two orchestras of the Bromberg Philharmonie from 2015, [2] [4] [13] and also became professor of conducting at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk  [ de ] in 2010. [6] [2] He was named Professor of Art by the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, in 2021. [14]

Bumann was a friend of many personalities in Polish cultural life, and conducted the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's Lacrimosa No. 2 for soprano, chorus and chamber orchestra, one of the composer's last works, on 6 October 2018. [15] [16]

Bumann died on 2 June 2022 in a hospital in Nowy Targ of a heart attack, aged 60. [3] [17] He was buried in Łopuszna. [18]

Awards and honors



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  1. "Traueranzeige Kai Bumann" [Death notice]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung . 10 June 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Kai Bumann / Dirigent und künstlerische Leitung" (in German). Schweizer Jugend-Sinfonie-Orchester. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dirigent Kai Bumann gestorben". magazin.klassik.com (in German). Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  4. 1 2 3 "Kai Bumann". Lucerne Festival (in German). 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  5. "Kai Bumann. Biography". St. Petersburg Philarmonia. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "dr hab. Kai Bumann, prof. AM" (in Polish). Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk  [ de ]. 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  7. 1 2 Schacher, Thomas (24 October 2020). ""Ein Sforzato ist wie ein Komet": 50 Jahre Schweizer Jugend-Sinfonie-Orchester". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  8. Fuchs, Daniel (1 May 2016). "Mahlers Neunte, jugendlich reif" [Mahler's Ninth, youthfully mature]. Saiten. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  9. Kühne, Roman (21 August 2021). "Junge Spontaneität wegen Corona vertagt". Luzerner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  10. "BBC Radio 3 - Through the Night, Europe's Young Performers (3/3)". BBC. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  11. "Koncert symfoniczny: Koncert pożegnalny Kaia Bumanna". Filharmonia Łódzka (in Polish). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  12. "Filharmonia Łódzka: "rezydujący" artyści i dyrygent w nowej roli – Dzienniklodzki.pl". 20 June 2019. Archived from the original on 20 June 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  13. Filarmonia Pomorska (17 May 2016). "Kai Bumann" (in Polish). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  14. "Nominacje profesorskie dla pedagogów aMuz w pierwszym semestrze 2021/2022" (in Polish). Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  15. "Lacrimosa No. 2, Krzysztof Penderecki" (work details) (in French and English). IRCAM.
  16. "Lacrimosa no. 2" (in German). Schott Music . Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  17. Palińska, Ewa (2 June 2022). "Zmarł Kai Bumann – były dyrektor artystyczny Polskiej Filharmonii Bałtyckiej". kultura.trojmiasto.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  18. Funeral notice, podhale24.pl (in Polish)
  19. "Lista laureatów medalu Zasłużony Kulturze - Gloria Artis" [List of laureates of the Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis]. Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego [Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland] (in Polish). Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  20. CDs SJSO
  21. Fantazja polska – powtórzenie polskieradio.pl
  22. Przeboje 55-lecia. Nowa płyta Capelli Bydgostiensis tygodnikbydgoski.pl 2018