Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is an inspired leader of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and he has renewed his commitment to the ensemble through the 2021-22 season. Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike, from the Orchestra’s home in Verizon Hall to the Carnegie Hall stage. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.”
Nézet-Séguin has taken The Philadelphia Orchestra to new musical heights in performances at home in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, at the Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, in Philadelphia neighborhoods, and around the world. His concerts of diverse repertoire attract sold-out houses, and he continues to make connections within Philadelphia’s rich music community, showing his commitment to engaging music lovers of all ages across the region. In his fourth season as music director, he launches exciting artistic initiatives, including a year-long exploration of works that exemplify the famous Philadelphia Sound, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) and other pieces given their world or U.S. premieres by the Orchestra; a three-week Music of Vienna Festival; and the continuation of a commissioning project for principal players of the Orchestra. Yannick is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra and by audiences wherever they perform. He made his inaugural tour with The Philadelphia Orchestra with the 2014 Tour of Asia, and the following year he took the Orchestra on their first European tour together, during which the Guardian of London exclaimed, “... it’s proving a remarkable partnership.”
Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra returned to recording with a CD on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions of three works by Bach. Their second disc for the label, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Daniil Trifonov, was released in August 2015. In Nézet- Séguin’s inaugural season the Orchestra returned to the radio airwaves, with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic since 2008 and artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000. He also continues to enjoy a close relationship with the London Philharmonic, of which he was principal guest conductor. He is currently in the final year of a three-year term as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund. Nézet-Séguin has made wildly successful appearances with the world’s most revered ensembles—the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and all the major Canadian orchestras, among many others. Throughout Europe and North America, his appearances have left indelible marks on the international classical music scene, making him one of the most sought-after conductors in the world.
Nézet-Séguin’s talents extend beyond symphonic music into the world of opera and choral music. His critically acclaimed performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera (where he appears annually, including the opening of the 2015 season), Milan’s La Scala, London’s Royal Opera House, Netherlands Opera, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, and the historic Salzburg Festival demonstrate that he is an artist of remarkable versatility and depth.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Deutsche Grammophon (DG) embarked on a major long-term collaboration in July 2012. He continues fruitful recording relationships with the Rotterdam Philharmonic on DG, EMI Classics, and BIS Records; the London Philharmonic and Choir for the LPO label; and the Orchestre Métropolitain for ATMA Classique.
A native of Montreal, Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at Montreal’s Conservatory of Music and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2015. His other honors include a Royal Philharmonic Society Award; Canada’s National Arts Centre Award; the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the highest distinction for the arts in Quebec, awarded by the Quebec government; and honorary doctorates from the University of Quebec in Montreal, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ.
Photo: Chris Lee