Kenneth Duryea was born in 1957 in New Jersey. At first he received piano lessons at the age of six, and later also violin and tuba lessons.
Already in high school, he led orchestral performances of traditional American musicals with great commitment and gave piano recitals. In 1975, he continued his education at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, graduating in 1981 with the Master of Music.
During his time in Juilliard he worked as a piano accompanist and vocal coach. In the summer of 1978 he participated in the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz. After that Kenneth Duryea’s career has focused on German-speaking countries and their opera houses. He worked as a Korrepetitor and conductor in Bielefeld, Deutsche Oper am Rhine in Dusseldorf, Kapellmeister Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken and 1990 there Deputy GMD. During these years he was able to significantly expand both his repertoire and his professional experience. He was also engaged in Saarbrücken by the local radio orchestra often as a specialist in contemporary music.
1991 brought the chance to direct the production of the world premiere of Gerhard Staebler’s “Sin, Fall, Beil” at the Biennale in Munich – where he was engaged as Kapellmeister for one year.
In 1992 he became First Kapellmeister and Deputy GMD at the Theater Krefeld / Mönchengladbach.
In the 90s Kenneth Duryea conducted as a guest at the Cologne Opera.
Kenneth Duryea is fluent in English, German, Italian and has excellent command of voice and drama.
He appears as a pianist in various chamber music formations, a special project being the “Franz Lehar Ensemble”.