Yannick Nézet-Séguin (born Yannick Séguin; 6 March 1975) is a French Canadian conductor and pianist. He currently holds leadership posts with the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is widely recorded on major classical music labels conducting performances of symphonies, recitals, and opera.
Born to a family of educators, Nézet-Séguin studied as a pianist and decided to become an orchestra conductor during his childhood. After studying choral conducting and earning five piano prizes at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec, he began a series of appointments with orchestras and choirs including Chœur polyphonique de Montréal, Choeur de Laval, the Opéra de Montréal (where he was chorus master and assistant conductor for 4 years) and the Victoria Symphony. He also guest conducted the Metropolitan Opera, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nézet-Séguin was born in Montreal to two specialists in education, Serge P. Séguin, Ph.D., a university professor, and Claudine Nézet, M.A., a university lecturer and coordinator. He began to study piano at age five, with Jeanne-d'Arc Lebrun-Lussier and decided to become an orchestra conductor at age ten.
Nézet-Séguin studied successively at St-Isaac-Jogues Primary School, at Mont-St-Louis Secondary School and at Bois-de-Boulogne College. In the meantime, he was admitted to Anisia Campos' piano class, at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec where he earned five first prizes in piano and in four related musical subjects. He also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and did many master classes with renowned conductors. At nineteen, he met and was invited to follow Carlo Maria Giulini in rehearsals and concerts for more than a year. He became the musical director of the Chœur polyphonique de Montréal in 1994 and obtained the same post at Choeur de Laval in 1995. In 1995, he founded his own professional orchestral and vocal ensemble, La Chapelle de Montréal, with whom he performed 2 to 4 concerts a year until 2002. He considers Charles Dutoit as his first inspiration as a child and Carlo Maria Giulini as his master. From 1998 to 2002, Nézet-Séguin was chorus master, assistant conductor and music adviser of the Opéra de Montréal.
Nézet-Séguin became music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal) in 2000, and principal guest conductor of the Victoria Symphony (British Columbia, Canada) in 2003. His most recent contract with the Orchestre Métropolitain, through 2010, has since been extended through 2015. He has conducted commercial recordings of symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler with the Orchestre Métropolitain.
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
In 2005, Nézet-Séguin guest-conducted the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (RPhO) for the first time, and returned in 2006. In December 2006, the RPhO announced the appointment of Nézet-Séguin as their 11th Principal Conductor, by a unanimous vote, starting with the 2008–09 concert season, with an initial contract of 4 years. In April 2010, the RPhO announced the extension of his contract through 2015. With the RPhO, Nézet-Séguin has recorded commercially for Virgin Classics and for EMI.
In December 2008, Nézet-Séguin made his first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, at the invitation of Charles Dutoit. He returned for a second guest-conducting engagement in December 2009. In June 2010, he was named the eighth Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, starting with the 2012–13 season. He served as Music Director Designate from 2010 to 2012. His initial contract as music director is for 5 seasons, with 7 weeks of scheduled concerts in the 2012–13 season, 15 weeks in the next 2 seasons, and 16 weeks in the subsequent 2 seasons of his Philadelphia contract.
Other major engagements
Since 2009, Nézet-Séguin has made annual appearances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He made his début on 31 December 2009, conducting a new production of Carmen, followed by Don Carlo in 2010, Faust in 2011, La traviata in 2013, and Rusalka in 2014.
Nézet-Séguin made his UK conducting debut with the Northern Sinfonia in the 2005–06 season. He debuted with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) in March 2007, and with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in April 2007. In November 2007, the LPO appointed Nézet-Séguin as their principal guest conductor, starting with the 2008–09 season. In May 2010, the LPO announced the extension of his contract as principal guest conductor through the 2013–14 season, after which he is scheduled to relinquish the post. He made his Royal Opera House debut with Rusalka, the first stagings of the opera at Covent Garden, in 2012. His engagements in the 2013-2014 season include appearances with the Berliner Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Orchestra.
- Virginia Parker Prize (2000)
- Prix Opus (2005)
- Royal Philharmonic Society Young artists (2009)
- National Arts Centre Performing Arts Award (2010)
- Doctorate honoris causa, UQAM (2011)
- Prix Denise-Pelletier, Government of the Province of Quebec (2011)
- Companion of the Order of Canada (2012)
- Nino Rota, Concertos, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2003)
- Glière, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, et al., Conversations, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2003)
- Mahler, Symphony no. 4, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2004)
- Beethoven, Haydn, Caldara, et al., Arianna a Naxos, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2004)
- Arthur De Greef, Orchestral Works, Flemish Radio Orchestra, Klara (2004)
- Saint-Saëns, Symphony No. 3, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2006)
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 7, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2007)
- Debussy, Britten, Pierre Mercure, La mer (et al.), Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2007)
- Pierre Lapointe, En concert, Orchestre Métropolitain, Audiogram (2007)
- Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 & Richard Strauss, Death and Transfiguration, Rotterdam Philharmonic, RPhO (2008)
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 9, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2008)
- Beethoven, Violin Concerto, & Korngold, Violin Concerto, Renaud Capuçon (violin), Rotterdam Philharmonic, RPhO (2009)
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 8, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2009)
- Ravel, Orchestral works, Rotterdam Philharmonic, EMI Classics (2009)
- Tchaikovsky, et al., Fantasy: A Night at the Opera, Emmanuel Pahud (flute), EMI Classics (2010)
- Brahms, A German Requiem, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, LPO Ltd (2010)
- Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BIS Records (2011)
- Florent Schmitt, La tragédie de Salomé, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2011)
- Debussy, et al., Orchestre Métropolitain – 30 ans, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2011)
- Richard Strauss, Ein Heldenleben & Vier letzte Lieder, with Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), BIS Records (2011)
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 4, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2011)
- Mahler, Symphony No. 5, The Philadelphia Orchestra (2011)
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 6, Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2013)
- various, Portraits: The Clarinet Album, with Andreas Ottensamer, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Virgin Classics (2013)
- Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Deutsche Grammophon (2013)
- Stravinsky, Le Sacré du printemps, & Stokowski–Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Deutsche Grammophon (2013)
- Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde, London Philharmonic Orchestra, LPO Ltd (2013)
- Joaquín Rodrigo & de Falla, Concertos, with Miloš Aranjuez (guitar), London Philharmonic Orchestra, LPO Ltd (2014)
- Robert Schumann, The (Four) Symphonies, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Deutsche Grammophon (2014)
- Kurt Weill, Lieder, Diane Dufresne (soprano), Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2005)
- Mozart, Lieder, Suzie LeBlanc (soprano), Nézet-Séguin (piano), ATMA Classique (2006)
- Puccini, et al., Marc Hervieux (tenor), Orchestre Métropolitain, ATMA Classique (2010)
- Gounod, Roméo et Juliette, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg (Salzburg Festival), Deutsche Grammophon (2008)
- Mozart, Don Giovanni, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Grammophon (2012)
- Mozart, Così fan tutte, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Deutsche Grammophon (2013)
Operas on video
- Bizet, Carmen, Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Grammophon (2008)
- Gounod, Faust, Metropolitan Opera, Decca Classics (2014)
- David Patrick Stearns, "Nezet-Seguin signs Philadelphia Orchestra contract". Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 June 2010.
- Joyce Morgan (27 June 2007). "Young conductor will reply in kind". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Peter Dobrin, "Philadelphia Orchestra director taking baton of a mentor". Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 June 2010.
- David Patrick Stearns, "Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads two orchestras in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in Ottawa". Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 June 2010.
- "Yannick Nézet-Séguin shines again: The young conductor is named Musical Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra" (Press release). Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- David Patrick Stearns, "Nézet-Séguin's 17 recordings offer variety". Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 June 2010.
- Vivien Schweitzer (2006-12-13). "Yannick Nézet-Séguin to Succeed Valery Gergiev at Rotterdam Philharmonic". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, "Yannick verlengt contract" (webpage press release), 23 April 2010.
- Andrew Clements (2009-10-15). "Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Korngold: Violin Concerto; Capuçon/Rotterdam PO/Nézet-Séguin (Virgin Classics)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Nicholas Kenyon (2010-01-31). "Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- Arthur Kaptainis (10 November 2007). "Dutch treat". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Robert Zaller (8 December 2009). "Conductor shortage? Where?". Broad Street Review. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
- Peter Dobrin, "Canada's 'rising star' to be Phila. maestro". Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 June 2010.
- Anthony Tommasini (1 January 2010). "That Daring Gypsy Strikes Again, and Anew". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Anthony Tommasini (23 November 2010). "A Winning, Cautious 'Don Carlo' at the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Zachary Woolfe (17 March 2013). "Start With Adolescent Spirit, Then Grow Into a Role". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- Zachary Woolfe (24 January 2014). "When It Comes to Nymphs and Princes, Water and Earth Don’t Mix". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-09.
- Rowena Smith (2007-04-23). "SCO/Nézet-Séguin". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Kevin Shihoten (2007-11-20). "Nézet-Séguin Named London Phil Principal Guest Conductor". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
- "London Philharmonic Orchestra extends contracts with Vladimir Jurowski and Yannick Nézet-Séguin" (Press release). London Philharmonic Orchestra. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "London Philharmonic Orchestra appoints Andrés Orozco-Estrada as new Principal Guest Conductor" (Press release). London Philharmonic Orchestra. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Imogen Tilden (2014-01-15). "Orozco-Estrada named as LPO's new principal guest conductor". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Tom Service (2009-10-15). "Yannick Nézet-Séguin: 'I had a dream, and that dream came true'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- "Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Conductor : Discography". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Decca Classics: "Charles Gounod, Faust", accessed 15 March 2014
- Official website (in English and French)
- Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal biography
- Askonas Holt agency biography
- Biography at the Canadian Encyclopedia
- "Yannick Nézet-Séguin — A Soaring Talent" by Wah Keung Chan, La Scena Musicale, 1 February 2000 (in English and French).
- Philadelphia Orchestra page on Nézet-Séguin
- Interview at Classical WETA 90.9 FM
|Principal Conductor and Artistic Director, Orchestre Métropolitain
|Principal Conductor, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra