Gérard Korsten was born in South Africa. He studied the violin with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute, and with Sandor Végh in Salzburg. He was Concert Master and Assistant Musical Director of Camerata Salzburg, and in 1987 he was appointed Concert Master of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Following Principal Conductor positions in Uppsala and at the State Theatre in Pretoria he became Musical Director of the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, a position he held from 1999 until 2005.
Gérard Korsten’s recent engagements have included productions at renowned European opera houses like the Teatro alla Scala Milano (Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro), Opéra National de Lyon (R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, F. Léhar: Die lustige Witwe, H. W. Henze: L'Upupa, R. Wagner: Siegfried), Royal Opera Stockholm (Mozart: Don Giovanni) and the Glyndebourne Touring Opera (Mozart: Così fan tutte). He also conducted G. Puccini‘s Tosca at the New National Theatre in Tokio.
In Cagliari he has conducted the first Italian performances of Richard Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena, Weber’s Euryanthe, Delius’ A Village Romeo & Juliet, and Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella. As Musical Director of the Orchestra del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari he conducted also Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Tosca, Aida, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Don Pasquale.
In concerts he appeared among others with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai Turin, Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Mozart in Bologna.
His recordings and DVD-productions cover pieces by Tschaikowsky with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Deutsche Grammophon), opera productions of Don Pasquale (TDK), Die ägyptische Helena, Euryanthe as well as Alfonso und Estrella (Dynamic).
Forthcoming engagements include Albert Herring at the Glyndebourne Festival and Così fan Tutte in Amsterdam.
Gérard Korsten was appointed as chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra Vorarlberg in autumn 2005.