Eugene Kohn began his career in his teens, as piano accompanist to major operatic artists, including Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Luciano Pavarotti, and Renata Tebaldi. His formal conducting studies began with a five-year, full time apprenticeship at the Metropolitan Opera with Fausto Cleva. He subsequently served for two years as assistant to Thomas Schippers, and worked the central German orchestral repertoire with Erich Leinsdorf.
Following several seasons of intensive activity with regional opera companies and orchestras, Eugen Kohn made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1980 with La gioconda, starring Renata Scotto. James Levine subsequently re-engaged him for several important works at the Metropolitan, and Eugene Kohn went on to conduct at such major opera houses as the Wiener Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Staatsoper Under den Linden in Berlin, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and Liceu in Barcelona, while fulfilling symphonic engagements in Europe and South America.
From 1992 to 1997 Eugene Kohn was Principal Guest Conductor of the Opera in Bonn where he collaborated with director Giancarlo Del Monaco on productions of Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, La fanciulla del West, Otello, Fidelio, and many others. Between 1994 and 2002 Eugene Kohn was Music Director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, which he enlarged significantly in personnel, budget, audience and repertory with cycles of Bartòk, Stravinskij and Mahler.
A frequent guest at the Washington Opera, Eugene Kohn has led productions there of I pagliacci, Tosca, La bohe`me, Un ballo in maschera, Fedora, Andrea Che´nier, and Madama Butterfly.
In most recent times, he conducted two of the world’s greatest artists, Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo, during several world tours.
He also appeared in such venues as Avery Fisher Hall of New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus in Zurich, Philharmonie in Munich, Philarmonie di Berlin and Musikhalle in Hambug.
Eugene Kohn can be heard with Maria Callas (as her live piano accompanist) on Emi’s three cd release of The Master Classes, and seen as conductor on Sony Classical’s 2003 dvd release of Duetto from the Colosseo in Rome and on Deutsche Grammophon 2006 dvd release of Alagna in Concert. He has an extensive recorded legacy with Placido Domingo, including his latest cd Italia, ti amo, nominated for a Grammy award (Deutsche Grammophon, 2007).
In 2004 Eugene Kohn made his professional screen acting debut (by re-creating his actual role as Maria Callas’ accompanist) in Zeffirelli’s Callas Forever.