yannick nezet seguin biographie
Photo: Joyce DiDonato; MET Orchestra on tour in Konzerthaus, Baden Baden.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

In September 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin becomes the third Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, he becomes Artistic and Music Director in February 2023 and renews his contract until 2030. Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal since 2000, he signs a contract "for life" in 2019. He is Honorary Conductor of the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest after being their Music Director from 2008 to 2018. He is also Honorary Member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Orchestre Métropolitain

Credit: Denis Germain - Orchestre Métropolitain - Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre, Lanaudière.

Yannick has worked with many leading European ensembles and enjoys close collaborations with Berliner 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 many times at the BBC Proms and at many European festivals, among them Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Grafenegg (Vienna). North American summer appearances include New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, Lanaudiere, Vail and Saratoga along with Domaine Forget Festival in Charlevoix. With the Philadelphia Orchestra, he goes regularly to Carnegie Hall where he has been Perspectives Artist in 2019-2020. He also conducts master classes, notably at two of the most renowned institutions, the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia and the Julliard School of New York. In Quebec, he directs an academy of young conductors linked to the Orchestre Métropolitain, in close collaboration with the Domaine Forget Summer Festival.

A long-term collaboration with the Baden Baden Summer Festival, La Capitale d'été, resulted over the years in several concerts and recordings of operas with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (see next paragraph), as well as the complete symphonies by Beethoven (Summer 2021) and the Brahms cycle (Summers 2022 and 2023).

He regularly conducts the Philadelphia and Rotterdam Orchestras as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Asian or European tours; in November 2017, he conducted the Orchester Métropolitain de Montréal on its very first European tour, which was a huge success, followed, in November 2019, by a very prestigious American tour with singer Joyce DiDonato; a second American tour is planned with the Orchestre Métropolitain which will take them to Carnegie Hall in March 2024. During Summer 2023, he conducted a very successful European Tour with the MET Orchestra who had not travelled since many years; an Asian Tour is planned.

Yannick is as comfortable at the opera as at the concert. After having cut his teeth at the Opéra de Montréal from 2000 to 2004 in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, The Barber of Seville, Cosi fan tutte, Pelléas et Mélisande and L'Elisir d' amore, he returns sporadically for Wozzeck, Madame Butterfly, Salomé and Elektra. He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2008 with a new production of Romeo and Juliet by Gounod and returned there in 2010 and 2011 for Don Giovanni by Mozart. It was during the 2009-2010 season that he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera (MET) in a new production of Carmen by Bizet; thereafter, he returned there each season to conduct Don Carlo, Faust, La Traviata, Rusalka, Otello, Der Fliegende Hollander, Parsifal and Elektra before becoming its musical director; in this position, he conducted La Traviata, Pelléas et Mélisande, Dialogues des Carmélites, Turandot, Wozzeck, Tosca, Fire shut up in my bones, Eurydice and Don Carlo (in French). In addition, during the 2022-2023 season, he will in turn conduct The Hours, Lohengrin, Champion and La Bohême. During the season 2023-2024, he'll conduct Dead Man Walking, Florencia in el Amazonas, La Forza del Destino and Roméo et Juliette.

Credit: Todd Rosenberg - The Philadelphia Orchestra - Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia

He has conducted at the Teatro alla Scala (Milan), the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden, London), the Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam) and the Vienna Staatsoper (Vienna). With the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, just before the start of the pandemic, he conducted a semi-staged version of Die fraù ohne schatten by Richard Strauss. In 2011, he undertook the cycle of Mozart's last operas for the Festspielhaus Baden Baden, all recorded "live" by Deutsche Grammophon; to date, the following titles have appeared: Di Zauberflöte; La Clemenza di Tito; Le Nozze di Figaro; Entführung aus dem Serail; Cosi fan tutte; Don Giovanni, most of them with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In April 2022, with the Rotterdams Philharmonisc Orkest, he conducted Rheingold by Richard Wagner in concert version during a tour in Rotterdam, Paris, Dortmund and Baden Baden which drew the highest praise to the entire production. A similar tour is planned with Walküre by Richard Wagner in March 2024.

Several films or sequences have been shot on Yannick Nézet-Séguin's career, the most complete, released in 2021, entitled Yannick, an Artist's Journey by Susan Froamke, produced by the MET. In addition, Yannick has participated as a Conducting Consultant in 2022 and 2023 in the production of two films: Maestro, an American film by Bradley Cooper (who also plays the title role), also starring Carrie Mulligan, chronicling the life of Leonard Bernstein (on Netflix in November 2024); and Happy Days, a Quebec film by Chloé Robichaud starring Sophie Desmarais in the role of a young Conductor.

The maestro records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. September 2013 marks his first symphonic recording under this prestigious banner; for the occasion, he directs the Philadelphia orchestra which had not recorded under a renowned label since 1997; their record Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring)-Stokowski (transcriptions by Bach and Stravinsky) proved to be a huge success. With the Chamber of Europe Orchestra, he recorded the complete Mendelssohn Symphonies as well as the complete works of Schumann Symphonies; with the Rotterdams Philhamonisch Orkest, a souvenir box; with Daniil Trifonov and the Philadelphia Orchestra, two discs of 4 piano concertos by Rachmaninoff. His DG discography includes several other recordings, including Tchaikovsky with Lisa Batiashvili and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; and Visions of Prokofiev with Lisa Batiashvili and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Following a few stage performances of Mass by Leonard Bernstein, Yannick conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as all the participants in a recording which was released in March 2018. In 2021, still with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he engraves Florence Price's Symphonies 1 and 3; this disc earned him a Grammy award for "best orchestral performance". With the same orchestra, he recorded the album Price-Dawson, nominated for the 2024 Grammys.

With ATMA Classique and the Orchester Métropolitain de Montréal, with whom he began recording in 2000, a special box set brings together all the Bruckner Symphonies recorded over the years. Thereafter, he undertook with them the Cycle Sibelius whose latest album will be released in 2024. A return to the piano during the pandemic allows his first solo piano album, Introspection, to see the light of day on Deutsche Grammophon (February 2021). Other recordings are available on various labels: Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (EMI Classics, BIS); London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO label); Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra (ATMA Classic); Berliner Philharmoniker (house label); Wiener Philharmoniker (Sony Classical); etc

Credit: George Etheredge and the Metropolitan Opera

Yannick 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. By the time he made his European debut in 2004, he had already founded his own professional orchestra and vocal ensemble, La Chapelle de Montréal, going on to conduct all the major ensembles in Canada. His honours include his first Grammy Award for the Florence Price recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra (2022); a second Grammy Award for the best Opera recording (MET: Fire Shut Up In My Bones from Terence Blanchard) (2023; a third Grammy Award for the best Voice recording (Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene Piano and Voice with the great Renée Fleming (2023); Musical America’s Artist of the Year (2016), Eco Klassik’s Conductor of the year (2014), and the following Awards: Virginia-Parker (2000); Royal Philharmonic Society (2009); National Arts Centre (2010); Denise-Pelletier (2015); Medal of Honor of the Quebec National Assembly (2015); Oskar Morawetz (2017). He holds eight honorary doctorates from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2011), Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (2014), Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton (2015), McGill University in Montreal (2017), Université de Montréal (2017); University of Pennsylvania (2018); Université Laval in Québec City (2021), Drexel University in Philadelphia (2023). He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada (2012), Companion ot the Order of Arts and Letters of Québec (2015), Officer of the Order of Québec (2015), Officer of the Order of Montreal (2017), Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music (2020) and Officer of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (2021). He holds three Grammy Awards: Best Orchestral Performance (Philadelphia Orchestra, 2022); Best Opera Recording (Fire shut up in my Bones by Terence Blanchard, Metropolitan Opera, 2023); Best vocal recording (Voice of Nature on piano with singer Renée Fleming, 2023).


Yannick-Nezet Séguin

Credit: Denis Germain; Orchestre Métropolitain, Maison symphonique de Montréal (Soloist: Maria Dueñas)



March 6 — Born in Montreal (Ahuntsic neighbourhood).


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


  • 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.


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


Several notable and significant encounters with Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini.


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


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


  • 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.
  • 100th performance (concert or opera) (October 19).


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


  • Start of collaboration with Atma Classique (La Strada, Nino Rota).
  • Chief Guest Conductor at the Victoria Symphony (2003-2006).
  • Start of collaboration with Askonas Holt agency.


European debut with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse.


  • 500th performance (October 29).


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


First concert as Guest Conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


  • 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.


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


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


  • First concert as Guest Conductor with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchester (Munich).
  • Denise-Pelletier Award.
  • Honorary doctorate (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)


  • 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 Deutsche Grammophon.


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


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


  • Honorary doctorate (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).


  • 1700th performance (May 31).
  • Appointed as Musical Director of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).
  • Honorary Member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.


  • Music Director designate of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).
  • Honorary doctorate (Mc Gill University (Montreal))
  • Honorary doctorate (University of Montréal)
  • Officer of the Order of Montreal
  • Oskar Morawetz Award (Council of Arts, Ontario)
  • First European tour with the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal).


  • Honorary doctorate (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Musical Director of the Metropolitan Opera (New York).
  • Exclusive contract with Deutsche Grmmophon.
  • Honorary Conductor of the Rotterdams Philharmonisc Orkest.


  • First American tour of the Orchestre Métropolitain.
  • Perpectives Artist 2019-2020 at Carnegie Hall.
  • Signature of an unlimited contract "for life" as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montréal


  • Three Opus Prizes from the Conseil Québécois de la musique.
  • Honorary member of the Royal Conservatory of Music for the major impact of his contribution on society.
  • Entry into the Petit Larousse 2021.
  • Rubies Prize offered by Opera Canada for its significant contribution to the world of opera.
  • Betty-Webster Prize in homage to a remarkable musician, visionary and humanitarian.
  • Commitment as a teacher at Star Académie.


  • Opus Prize of Artistic Director of the year, from the Conseil Québécois de la musique, for his leadership, notably during the pandemic.
  • First Piano solo recording, INTROSPECTION, on Deutsche Grammophon Label.
  • Release of Patrick Delisle-Crevier's book Raconte-moi Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Editions Petit homme.
  • Honorary Doctorate (Université Laval, Québec City)


  • Grammy Award for the Best Orchestra Performance (Florence Price - The Philadelphia Orchestra).
  • Member of the new Cercle d'honneur et de rayonnement du Conservatoire.


  • Grammy Award for the Best Opera Recording (Terence Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones - MET Opera)
  • Grammy Award for the best vocal recording (Voice of Nature - The Anthropocene - Renée Fleming, Soprano / Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Piano)
  • Honorary Doctorate (Drexel University, Philadelphia)
  • Participation to the film Happy days from Chloé Robichaud as Musical Advisor.
  • Participation to the film Maestro from Bradley Cooper, who also plays the title role, as Musical Advisor; the film tells de life of Maestro Leonard Bernstein
  • Recording of most of the Music of the film Maestro from Bradley Cooper, with the London Symphony.


  • Grammy Award for the Best Opera Recording (Terence Blanchard: Champion - MET Opera).
  • Nominated for an Oscar for his musical contribution to the film Maestro.
  • Honorary Fellow (FRCMT) of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto.
Orchestre de Chambre d'Europe

Credit: Chamber Orchestra of Europe on tour at the Konzerthaus, Baden Baden

"I’m very, very lucky, of course — maybe the luckiest music director"

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, New York Times