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Garrett Keast

Garrett Keast has received worldwide attention for his ability to create galvanizing and soul stirring experiences in concert halls and opera houses. Praised for “leaving audiences hungry for more” (Basler Zeitung), the Berlin-based conductor is recognized for his broad repertoire experience and for his American focus with his Berlin Academy of American Music, a professional orchestra founded during the pandemic that focuses on American repertoire. Keast is consistently admired for the enthusiasm and synergy he builds with musicians and audiences.


Keast began his career in New York as Associate Conductor of the New York City Opera before launching his career in Europe with engagements at the Paris Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Bonn, and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. Today, he regularly appears at venues including Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussel’s BOZAR, the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Aspen Music Festival, Theater an der Wien, and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Described as drawing out “refined and concentrated playing” with “assured sensitivity” (Financial Times), Keast has conducted performances with orchestras such as the Tonkünstler Orchester Vienna, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.


The 2023-2024 season features a fall tour of Korea with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Hankyung Arte Philharmonic, a televised, live broadcast with Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchestra (Bernstein and the American Songbook) featuring soprano Aleksandra Szmyd and tenor Matthew Newlin, as well as engagements with the Royal Swedish Opera, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, and the Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. Repertoire highlights include John Adam’s Fearful Symmetries, Fazıl Say’s Istanbul Symphony, Caroline Shaw’s Watermark Concerto, and Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 2. In addition, Keast conducts the Berlin Academy of American Music at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with programs including Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Mazzoli, Shaw, and Stravinsky. Later in the season, Keast brings BAAM to the Konzerthaus-Berlin, conducting a program focused on works of Avner Dorman, Aviya Kopelman, David T. Little and Ursula Mamlok. Afterwards, the orchestra will record its second album for ONYX Classics, one focused on the works of contemporary American-Israeli composer Avner Dorman and featuring cellist Inbal Segev.


With distinct performances leading over sixty symphony orchestras and more than twenty opera companies across four continents, the conductor’s experience on the podium showcases extraordinary range. From the operatic canon, Keast has led masterworks of contemporary composers such as Georg Friedrich Hass, Leonard Bernstein and Unsuk Chin to more traditional and iconic pieces by Mozart, Puccini, Strauss and Wagner. His symphonic repertoire extends from Haydn and Brahms to Adams, Britten and Widmann. In 2021, Keast led the Konzerthaus-Berlin Orchester in a Euroarts recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.


Always eager to serve as a cultural bridge between Europe and America, Keast is a prominent interpreter of repertoire from his homeland and continuously develops new and exciting programming. In recent seasons he has led American programs including John Neumeier’s Bernstein Dances in the Los Angeles Music Center, the Staatsoper Hamburg, and Baden Baden Festspielhaus, a Broadway program at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, a Bernstein Gala with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, performances of Bernstein’s Mass in Dresden’s Frauenkirche, and performances featuring Adams, Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin and Glass with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Tonkünstler Orchester Vienna, and Staatsoper Hannover. Keast is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berlin Academy of American Music, a chamber orchestra of top Berlin-based musicians who share a common focus on performing the greatest works of American and American immigrant composers. The orchestra’s 5-star debut recording, Transatlantic, was released in October 2021 on the ONYX Classics label and features flutist Stathis Karapanos, soprano Chen Reiss, and violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley.


Throughout his career, Garrett Keast has been invited to conduct important international orchestras including the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, SWR Sinfonieorchester, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Operá National de Lorraine à Nancy, Atlanta Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Royal Danish Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra (Carl Nielsen Violin Competition), and the Prague Philharmonia. 


Garrett Keast has conducted opera and ballet productions such as Faust and Swan Lake with the Opéra National de Paris, Die Zauberflöte with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bernstein Mass in Dresden’s Frauenkirche, Sylvia and Jekyll & Hyde with the Finnish National Opera & Ballet, La Bohème at the Aspen Music Festival, Ariadne auf Naxos at the Virginia Opera, Carmen at Opera San Antonio, Midsummernight’s Dream in Tokyo, Der Fliegender Holländer at Theater Erfut, Rigoletto at Theater Bremen, Don Giovanni at New Orleans Opera, and Bluthaus at Oper Bonn. At the Staatsoper Hamburg, Keast has enjoyed a long relationship with John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet where he has led over 130 performances of eight productions. Additionally, he has conducted performances at the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Staatsoper Hannover, the Dallas Opera, as well as a highly praised Così fan tutte at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. 


Garrett Keast was mentored by Christoph Eschenbach at the Houston Symphony and served as his assistant conductor for international tours and opera productions. He also studied at Aspen and Tanglewood and has been a recipient of the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant.

“He goes beyond just music; he strives to create an atmosphere and evoke feelings in the listener.” 

- Opernnetz, Oper Bonn


Founder & Executive Director / Chief Conductor

Dr. Markus Baum - Dr. Baum GmbH & Co. KG

Bettina Brand - Ursula Mamlok Foundation

Jonathan Dawe - Composer, Juilliard School of Music

Avner Dorman - Composer

Christoph Eschenbach - Conductor, Pianist

Michael Fine - Grammy award-winning record producer

Joel Hunter - Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Dudana Mazmanishvili - Pianist and Georgian cultural attaché

Boris Matchin - Geschäfts­führender Gesellschafter TONALi, Hamburg

David Mees - Former cultural attaché, US Department of State

Christian Reichart  - Dramaturg

Michael Shapiro - Composer and conductor

Stefan Schneider - Generalkonsulat, Los Angeles - Deustches Generalkonsulat

Nadine Secunde - American mezzo-soprano

David Skudlik - Co-Founder & CEO Sforzato

Amadeus Templeton - Geschäfts­führender Gesellschafter TONALi, Hamburg

Augusta Read Thomas - Composer, Professor at the University of Chicago, Director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

Hannes Tronsberg - CEO Future Demand

Howard Pollack - Author, John & Rebecca Moores Professor of Music at the University of Houston


Amy Harris

Berlin-based soprano and project manager, Amy Harris finds herself drawn to all aspects of classical music. Originally from San Diego, CA, Amy earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis in Music and Comparative Literature and her Master of Music from the Longy School of Music. After her studies, she found parallel careers in organization and performance, holding several positions in administration and event management at well-known institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford University, and MIT. Relocating to Berlin, those coordinated careers finally merged with the planning and production of classical music performances with the Berlin Academy of American Music.


As a vocalist, she has been praised for her expressive and elegant performances as the title roles in Roméo et Juliette (Opera Noord-Holland-Noord) and Suor Angelica (Red River Lyric Opera; Vienna Summer music Festival), as well as for her witty interpretations of characters such as Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte (Orvieto, Italy). Other roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Greve Opera Festival), Mimì in La bohème (Verismo Opera), and Micaëla in Carmen (Opera Noord-Holland-Noord).


During the pandemic, Amy organized several free performances with colleagues in the parks of Berlin and was engaged to record operatic improvisations for the Cartoon Network Show Tig n’ Seek. An avid promoter of chamber music, Amy has several Art Song and Lieder concerts planned this fall in Berlin, Amsterdam, and San Diego.


General Manager

David B.

Berlin based German-French entrepreneur, travel curator and music enthusiast, David de Bjaouix calls concert halls, opera houses and theaters around the world his home. Music and travel are his biggest passion. CEO of the DISCOVERY Group, David takes care of travel and the logistics for touring orchestra and opera productions.

He also curates unique holidays experiences as a travel designer and works as an international tour guide and expedition leader. Even in the most luxurious destinations and most unusual spots on the planet, music is always his closest companion. 

As business manager of the Berlin Academy of American Music, David is responsible for the business development of the orchestra and supervises its touring and concert productions.


Business Liaison

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