Since the season 2008/09 Michel Tabachnik has been playing a major rôle as chief conductor and artistic director of the Brussels Philharmonic. With this orchestra he combines creative programmes with traditional repertoire and music of our time, showing that there are no boundaries dividing music of yesterday and music of today.
Michel Tabachnik studied piano, composition and conducting in Geneva. After his studies a few great conductors gave him their precious support: Pierre Boulez, Herbert von Karajan and Igor Markevitch. He was first Igor Markevitch’s assistant at the Radio Television Orchestra in Madrid, and for four years Pierre Boulez’s assistant, mainly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London.
This led him to become closely involved with the music of our time. Close to Stockhausen, Berio, Ligeti, Messiaen…He performed many world premières, particularly those of Iannis Xenakis who considered him as his favourite interpreter.
Michel Tabachnik has held the position of Music Director of the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra in Lisbon, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine and the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. His impressive roster of guest conducting includes the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tokyo NHK, Orchestre de Paris, and festivals such as Lucerne, Salzburg, Aix en Provence. In September 2005, Michel Tabachnik was appointed the Noord Nederlands Orkest’s Chief Conductor for six years.
Soon after his nomination as the Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic in September 2008 he had a spectacular influence on this orchestra. During three seasons, Michel and the Brussels Philharmonic have been offered a thirteen-concert residency at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. They perform at the Concertgebouw/Amsterdam, De Doelen/Rotterdam, Festspielhaus/Salzburg and they tour China (12 concerts in 2009), Germany (2010), Great Britain (2012), South America (2012), Germany again (10 concerts in 2012). As a guest conductor, his 2010–2011 engagements included the Orchestre de Paris, the SWR Stuttgart and Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin.
In the operatic field Michel Tabachnik has conducted in the opera houses of Paris, Geneva, Zürich, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome, Montreal, Genova, Bolshoi Theater. He has been a regular guest with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, where he led, among other works, Lohengrin, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and The Rake’s Progress.
Part of his time is dedicated to young musicians. He has conducted several international youth orchestras. He was Artistic Director of l’Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec (1985–1989) and, over a twelve year period, l’Orchestre des Jeunes de Méditerrannée which he founded in 1984.
As a respected pedagogue Michel Tabachnik has given numerous master-classes in Hilversum, Lisbon (the Gulbenkian Foundation), Paris, Brussels and Stockholm conservatories. He has held the position of Professor of Conducting at both the Faculty of Music,University of Toronto (1984–1991), and the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen (1993–2001).
His discography (Erato and Lyrinx) reflects the versatility of his repertoire, which ranges from Beethoven to Honegger, from Wagner to Xenakis. the French-speaking Swiss Radio’s international jury elected his recording of Schumann’s Piano Concerto (with Catherine Collard) “best performance of this work”.
In 1995, Michel Tabachnik was declared “artist of the year” by Centro Internazionale d’Arte e di Cultura in Roma.