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Kout Jiří

(*26.12.1937 Nové Dvory near Kutná Hora)


He studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. His career as a conductor started in 1964 in Pilsen. Only a year later, he drew attention as laureate of the International Conducting Competition in Besançon. In 1969 Jiří Kout was forced to leave Pilsen, as he publicly protested against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact soldiers in August 1968. He was allowed to work more systematically again in 1972, when he took up the post of Conductor at the National Theatre in Prague. After a series of successful guest appearances at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, he finally decided to go into exile, and became Permanent Conductor at the Düsseldorf Opera. In 1985 he became Music Director of the Saarbrücken Opera. In 1990, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and, in addition to that, in 1993 he became Music Director of the Leipzig Opera. Jiří Kout has won international fame particularly as an excellent conductor of the works of Wagner, Strauss and Janáček whose operas he has conducted at the most prestigious opera houses around the world. In Berlin, Janáček´s opera Katya Kabanova under his direction was awarded as the best production of the year. In 1998 Jiří Kout became Chief Conductor of the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra, where he now lives with his family. From the 2006/2007 concert season on, he has been holding the position of Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.