“Yannick Nézet-Séguin, 31, shows every sign of becoming the Great Canadian Conductor for whom this country's classical music buffs have been waiting.”
John Terauds – Toronto Star
Yannick Nézet-Séguin was announced on December 12, 2006 as the next Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, succeeding Valery Gergiev at the start of the 2008 – 09 season. He is also the Artistic Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal and has garnered three coveted Prix Opus prizes, namely the Découverte de l’année in 1999 and Prix du public in both 1999 and 2000, awarded by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He is the recipient of the 2000 Virginia Parker Prize, given by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Born in Montreal in 1975, Yannick Nézet-Séguin began piano lessons at the age of five and later entered the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal where he studied piano with Anisia Campos and composition, chamber music, and conducting. While attending the Conservatoire, he also studied choral conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and, in 1995, founded the vocal and instrumental ensemble La Chapelle de Montréal. He continued his training near a number of famous conductors, among them the great Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini between 1997 and 1998.
In April 2000, he was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. He has also appeared as guest conductor of L'Opéra de Montréal where, between 1998 and 2002, he was Chorus Master, Assistant Conductor and Musical Adviser. Productions he has conducted since 2000 include Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Puccini’s La Bohème and an acclaimed Turandot, to open the 2004/2005 season.
In Canada, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has conducted all the principle orchestras, and is a regular guest at least once per season to the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, NAC Ottawa, Victoria Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and Edmonton Symphony.
In November 2004 he made his European debut with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and has subsequently received an unbroken string of re-invitations from every orchestra with whom he has worked, including the Flemish Radio Symphony, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to a busy schedule in Canada, the 2005 – 06 season saw some highly successful debuts, notably the Northern Sinfonia for his UK debut, the Gothenburg Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Indianapolis Symphony and a debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic so successful that it led to return invitations throughout the following three seasons.
2006 – 07 is proving no less exciting, having already made an acclaimed Paris debut with Bryn Terfel and the Orchestre National de France, in Geneva with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande and in Germany with the Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra. These have led to immediate return invitations from both the ONF and the Dresden Staatskapelle in 2008.
He looks forward to his London Philharmonic Orchestra debut in March 2007, as well as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony and a tour with the Sudwestrundfunk Sinfonirorchester Baden Baden, which will include concertos performances with Victoria Mullova and Martha Argerich.
His Opera commitments include Gounod’s Faust at the Canadian Opera Company in February 2007, and his European opera debut with Les Voix Humane at the Liceu Theatre in Barcelona in May 2007.
He continues to find time for occasional appearances as pianist in both duo recitals and chamber projects and a recent release on the ATMA label comprised Mozart Lieder with Suzie LeBlanc featuring Fortepiano.
He records for ATMA Classique and his Orchestre Métropolitain recording of Nino Rota’s La Strada and concertos was awarded two Opus prizes for best recording of the Year and his remarkable musical achievements in the 2003/2004 season earned him a further three Opus Awards - for Musician of the year; Concert of the year outside Montreal and Quebec City; and Record of the year - classical, romantic, post-romantic or impressionist for his Mahler S.4 release. His most recent release of the Saint-Saens Symphony number three has been met with critical acclaim, and their next release will be Bruckner Symphony nr. 7 in the spring of 2007.