yannick nezet seguin biographie
Biography

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Conductor
In 2012, Montreal-born Yannick Nézet-Séguin added the Music Directorship of The Philadelphia Orchestra to his roles as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and long-time Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), where he has served since 2000.

2017/18 will be his tenth and final season with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and will draw to a close with the orchestra’s centenary celebrations in Rotterdam and round Europe. In 2020/2021 he succeeds James Levine as the third Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, New York and remains in post with The Philadelphia Orchestra until at least summer 2026.

Mr. Nézet-Séguin has worked with many leading European ensembles and enjoys close collaborations with the Berlin Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester and Chamber Orchestra of Europe; between 2008 and 2014 he was also Principal Guest Conductor of London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared three times at the BBC Proms and at many European festivals, among them Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Grafenegg. North American summer appearances include New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Lanaudiere, Vail and Saratoga.

yannick nezet seguin biography

Credit: Jan Regan and the Philadelphia Orchestra

He made his Salzburg Festival opera debut in 2008 with a new production of Roméo et Juliette, returning in 2010 and 2011 for Don Giovanni. In the 2009/10 season, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut with their new production of Carmen and has returned each season (Otello, Don Carlo, Faust, La Traviata and Rusalka). Next season, he conducts Wagner there for the first time (Der Fliegende Holländer).

He has conducted for Teatro alla Scala (Milano), Royal Opera House (Covent Garden, London), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam) and Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna). In 2011 began a cycle of seven Mozart operas for Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, all recorded live by Deutsche Grammophon. Le Nozze di Figaro, the fourth of the titles, is scheduled for release later this year.

In addition to Le Nozze di Figaro, recent Deutsche Grammophon releases include the Complete Schumann symphonies and Enführung aus dem Serail with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninov Variations with Daniil Trifonov and The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Tchaikovsky with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Lisa Batiashvili. Nézet-Séguin’s discography also includes recordings with the Rotterdam Philharmonic (EMI Classics, BIS and DG); London Philharmonic (LPO label); Bayerischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (BR Klassik) and Orchestre Métropolitain (ATMA Classique).

Credit: Chris Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra

Mr. Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montreal, and choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey before going on to study with renowned conductors, most notably the Italian maestro Carlo Maria Giulini. His honours include Musical America’s Artist of the Year (2016), Royal Philharmonic Society Award; Canada’s National Arts Centre Award, the Prix Denise-Pelletier awarded by the Quebec government, and the Medal of Honour from the National Assembly of Quebec (2015). He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Quebec in Montreal (2011), Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (2014) and Westminster Choir College of Rider University (2015). He has received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec (2015). He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada (2012) and Officer of the Order of Québec (2015).

Adapted from Askonas Holt’s biography.

Yannick-Nezet Séguin

Credit: Chris Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra

Timeline


1975

March 6 — Born in Montreal (Ahuntsic neighbourhood).

1994

Artistic direction, Chœur polyphonique de Montréal (Montreal Cathedral).

1995

  • Creation of the Chapelle de Montréal, professional vocal and instrumental ensemble.
  • Artistic Director of the Chœur de Laval.
  • Creation of the Ensemble Orchestral de Montréal.
  • First concert with a large orchestra: Ensemble Orchestral and Chœur de Laval.

1996

Five first prizes from the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal.

1997

Several notable and significant encounters with Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini.

1998

  • Assistant conductor and choir master at the Opéra de Montréal.
  • First concert as guest conductor at the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal).

1999

  • Prix Opus “Revelation of the Year”.
  • “Person of the week”, La Presse.
  • Guest conductor at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for a youth concert.

2000

  • Artistic Director and Chief conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal).
  • Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • First opera conducted in Montreal: Lakmé*, Delibes, concert version.
  • *October 19 — 100th performance (concert or opera).

2001

First concert conducted outside of Québec with the CBC Radio Orchestra (Vancouver).

2003

  • Start of collaboration with Atma Classique (La Strada, Nino Rota).
  • Chief Guest Conductor at the Victoria Symphony.
  • Start of collaboration with Askonas Holt agency.

2004

European debut with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse.

2005

October 29 — 500th performance.

2006

  • First concert as Guest Conductor in the United States, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Sächsische Staatskapelle, Dresden.

2007

First concert as Guest Conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

2008

  • Debut at the Salzburg Festival (Roméo and Juliette, Gounod).
  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
  • Chief Guest Conductor at the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Chief Conductor at the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest.

2009

  • Debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York (Carmen, Bizet, 6 performances).
  • Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society, London, in the Young Artist category.

2010

  • Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Wiener Philharmoniker.
  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
  • October 10 — 1000th performance.

2011

  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester (Munich).
  • Denise-Pelletier Award.
  • Honorary doctorate from Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Person of the Year (Arts category), La Presse/Radio-Canada.
  • First opera conducted at La Scala, Milan (Roméo and Juliette, Gounod)

2012

  • Music Director at the Philadelphia Orchestra.
  • First concert conducted at Carnegie Hall (Verdi’s Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra).
  • Companion of the Order of Canada.
  • First opera conducted at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London (Dvoràk’s Rusalka).
  • Long-term collaboration agreement with Deutches Grammophon.

2013

2013-2016 — Conductor-in-residence at the Konzerthaus, Dortmund.

2014

  • Prix Opus for best outreach outside Quebec.
  • Honorary doctorate from Curtis Institute, Philadelphia.
  • Echo Award for best Conductor, Stravinsky/Stokowski recording.
  • Name appears in the proper names edition of the Petit Robert dictionary.
  • December 13 — 1500th performance.

2015

  • Honorary doctorate from Westminster Choir College, Rider University, Princeton.
  • Companion, Arts and Letters of Québec.
  • Officer of the National Order of Quebec.
  • Québec National Assembly Medal.
  • Artist of the Year 2016 (Musical America).

2016

  • 1700th performance, May 31.
  • Appointed as Musical Director of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).

2017

Music Director designate of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).

2020

Musical Director of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).

Credit: François Goupil and the Orchestre Métropolitain

“For once, in New York, standing ovation was genuinely earned.”

M. Bernheimer, Financial Times