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Yannick Nézet-Séguin Renews Contract with Philadelphia Orchestra

Philadelphia's Music Director will continue leading the orchestra until the end of the 2029/30 concert season

 

Canadian conductor and pianist Yannick Nézet-Séguin was appointed by the Philadelphia Orchestra (PO) in 2012 as its eighth music director. Under his recent four-year contract extension, he will begin serving in both the music and artistic director positions.

His extended tenure is close to those of PO’s influential and longstanding leaders across its 123-year history, including Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy. In the 11 seasons since his appointment, he has hired 23 world-class musicians into the ensemble and commissioned over 30 works from international composers, including Gabriela Lena Frank and Valerie Coleman.

With Nézet-Séguin, PO has maintained a high-profile and regular presence at Carnegie Hall, and engaged in regular recording projects — collaborating with labels such as Deutsche Grammophon. In 2022, PO received its first GRAMMY Award for “Best Orchestral Performance” for their album of Florence Price’s First and Third Symphonies.

“To have traveled this most amazing musical journey with The Philadelphia Orchestra through changing times and a changing musical world has been pure joy,” he said.

“Through the most complex challenges, to the creative process of realizing new ideas, to the heights of music-making with this magnificent ensemble, I am both honored and so happy to continue this true collaboration, with the gift of a long horizon,” he added. “I am already imagining our future work together and the beautiful music we will offer to the people of Philadelphia, and far beyond.”

 

Born in Montreal, Nézet-Séguin attended Montreal’s Conservatory of Music, studying piano, composition, chamber music, and conducting, with Carlo Maria Giulini. He was also a student at Westminster Choir College, where he studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt.

From 2008 to 2018, he served as the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s music director and as principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic between 2008 and 2014. He regularly partners with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In addition to PO, Nézet-Séguin is music director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and has led Canada’s Orchestre Métropolitain as artistic director and principal conductor since 2000.

A multi-GRAMMY Award nominee and winner, he recently won two more GRAMMYs — “Best Opera Recording” for his work with the Met Opera, and “Best Classical Solo Vocal Album” with him on piano and singer Renee Fleming.

Additional accolades include several honorary doctorates, the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012, Companion to the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec, Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year, and ECHO KLASSIK’s 2014 Conductor of the Year, among others.

 

“We are elated that Yannick is renewing and redoubling his commitment to our Orchestra,” said PO and Kimmel Center’s president and CEO, Matías Tarnopolsky. “By building our Orchestra...to featuring a diverse and fascinating universe of today’s composers and artists, offering fresh perspectives on the music of past centuries, celebrating music that should be better known, connecting deeply with audiences of all ages, and creating new ideas of the concert experience, Yannick has changed how we see the role of an orchestra in society and elevated this institution to the most wonderful level,” he continued. “I am personally very much looking forward to the future journey.”

“The musicians of [PO] are delighted by the news of the extension of Yannick’s contract,” added PO bassist David Fay, chair of PO’s Members’ Committee. “Since he began his tenure as music director, Yannick has led as a great artist and as a true partner, and we are very appreciative of the respect and consideration he gives to each member,” he added. “We look forward to making more beautiful music with Yannick and to continuing our musical exploration together for many years to come.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will celebrate Nézet-Séguin with “Philly Loves Yannick Week” from February 6–10, 2023, hosting multiple events. For more information, click here.


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