Runnicles, Donald , Scottish conductor; b. Edinburgh, Nov. 16, 1954. He was educated at the univs. of Edinburgh and Cambridge, and also studied at the London Opera Centre. In 1980 he became a répétiteur at the Mannheim National Theater, where he then was a conductor (1984–87). He then was conductor in Hannover (1987–89). From 1989 to 1992 he was Generalmusikdirektor in Freiburg im Breisgau. He also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. (from 1988), the San Francisco Opera (from 1990), the Vienna State Opera (from 1990), and the Glyndebourne Festival (from 1991). In 1992 he became music director of the San Francisco Opera. In 1994 he scored an outstanding success at the Edinburgh Festival conducting Mahler’s 8th Sym. On Sept. 5, 1997, he conducted the gala reopening performance at the renovated San Francisco Opera house. In 2000 he became principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Sym. Orch. while retaining his position with the San Francisco Opera. Runnicles conducts left-handed.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire