Conductor Eugene Kohn was immersed in opera at a very young age, accompanying the vocal classes of Giovanni Martinelli and Maria Jeritza. He became a full time conducting student of Fausto Cleva, and in the early 1970’s began performing in public as recital accompanist to some of opera’s greatest stars: Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe DiStefano, Franco Corelli, Maria Callas, and the young Luciano Pavarotti.
By the mid 1970’s Kohn was conducting performances of opera in small companies, which led to James Levine inviting him to the Metropolitan Opera in 1980 where he debuted in La Gioconda with Renata Scotto and was subsequently engaged for several different productions. Having the opportunity to deepen his study with Erich Leinsdorf, Mo. Kohn began performing the central European symphonic repertoire with regional orchestras.
Through the 1980’s and 1990’s Mo. Kohn began working internationally, including at the major opera houses of Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin (both), Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Rome, Naples, etc. He also held permanent positions as Principal Guest Conductor at the Bonn Opera, where he broadened his German repertoire with productions of Der Fliegende Holländer, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Zauberflöte, Fidelio and others, and Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony, which added extensive repertoire of Stravinsky, Janacek, Shostakovich, Bruckner and Mahler under his leadership.
For the last 25 years Mo. Kohn has enjoyed a close association with Plácido Domingo. The two have performed together extensively in opera and concert worldwide, and their continuing collaboration is richly documented on CD and DVD.
Since 2008 Kohn has been collaborating as well with Andrea Bocelli, and in addition to concert appearances together they have appeared at Deutsche Oper in Berlin, where they return in 2011 for Werther.
Eugene Kohn has recorded for EMI, Sony, and DECCA, and can also be seen as screen actor in Zeffirelli’s Callas Forever (with Jeremy Irons and Fanny Ardant) where he recreates his real life role from 40 years earlier as Ms. Callas’ accompanist.