Stéphane Denève

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Stéphane Denève (born 24 November 1971) is a French conductor, who has been Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic since 2015 and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2014. He is scheduled to become Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2019 and will serve as Music Director Designate for the 2018-19 season.[1] He was Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra from 2005 to 2012 and Chief Conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2011 to 2016.


Denève was born in Tourcoing, France,[2] and graduated from the Paris Conservatoire. Denève worked as conducting assistant to Sir Georg Solti with the Orchestre de Paris, Georges Prêtre at the Opéra National de Paris, and Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 1998.

Denève assumed the post of music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in September 2005, his first music directorship. In his first season, he led the RSNO at the 2006 Proms concerts in London, and its first-ever performance in France.[3] In April 2007, he extended his contract with the Orchestra through 2011.[4] In March 2010, the RSNO announced the further extension of Denève's contract for one more year, and the conclusion of his tenure after the 2011-2012 season.[5][6] Denève and the RSNO have made several commercial recordings for the Naxos and Chandos labels, including works of Albert Roussel[7][8] and Guillaume Connesson.[9]

In October 2009, Denève first guest-conducted the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO Stuttgart) as a substitute for Michel Plasson.[10] Based on that appearance, in March 2010, the RSO Stuttgart announced the appointment of Denève as its 6th chief conductor, starting with the 2011-2012 season.[11] His initial Stuttgart contract was for 3 years through the 2013-2014 season.[10] In June 2013, the RSO Stuttgart announced the extension of his contract through the 2015-2016 season.[12] Denève concluded his tenure as chief conductor of the RSO Stuttgart with the end of the 2015-2016 season, and was its final chief conductor before the orchestra's planned merger with the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In November 2013, Denève first guest-conducted the Brussels Philharmonic. In June 2014, the Brussels Philharmonic announced the appointment of Denève as its next Music Director, effective with the 2015-2016 season.[13][14] One new initiative during Denève's tenure is the establishment of CffOR (Centre for Future Orchestral Repertoire), for commissioning new compositions. With the Brussels Philharmonic, Denève has commercially recorded other works of Guillaume Connesson and Sergei Prokofiev.[15] In 2017, Denève conducted the Brussels Philharmonic in the first cello edition of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Denève made his USA conducting debut at Santa Fe Opera in 1999 with Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites.[16] In 2003, he first guest-conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. His first appearance as guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra was in 2007. In April 2014, The Philadelphia Orchestra named Denève its next Principal Guest Conductor, effective with the 2014-2015 season.[17] In February 2017, the orchestra announced the extension of Denève's contract as Principal Guest Conductor through the 2019-2020 season.[18] In June 2017, the St Louis Symphony Orchestra named Denève as its next Music Director, effective with the 2019-2020 season, with an initial contract of 3 seasons. He is to hold the title of Music Director Designate with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra for the 2018-2019 season.[19]

In July 2007, Denève married Åsa Masters in a ceremony in California.[20] The couple have a daughter, Alma,[21] born in 2008. Denève received an honorary DLitt from Heriot-Watt University in 2008.


  1. ^ "A Frenchman Is Named Next Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony". The New York Times. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  2. ^ Tim Cornwell, "Swing time for Stéphane". The Scotsman, 1 October 2005.
  3. ^ Sarah Jones (19 February 2006). "Avant garde alliance". Scotland on Sunday. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  4. ^ Phil Miller (19 April 2007). "RSNO to retain music director and receive £750,000 from executive". The Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  5. ^ "RSNO Music Director commits through 2012 and announces new European appointment" (Press release). Royal Scottish National Orchestra. March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  6. ^ Phil Miller (4 March 2010). "National orchestra maestro to leave Scotland". The Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  7. ^ Tim Ashley (8 June 2007). "Roussel: Bacchus et Ariane; Symphony No 3, RSNO/ Denève". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  8. ^ Tim Ashley (13 June 2008). "Roussel: Symphony No 2; Suite in F; Pour une Fête de Printemps, RSNO/ Denève". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  9. ^ Rowena Smith (28 February 2010). "RSNO/Denève (Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow)". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b Götz Thieme (22 September 2011). "Am Pult des RSO steht nun ein Lockenkopf". Stuttgarter Zeitung. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart: Neuer Chefdirigent - Stéphane Denève ist ab September 2011 Chefdirigent beim RSO Stuttgart" (Press release). Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Dirigent Denève bleibt bis 2016" (Press release). SWR. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2014.[dead link]
  13. ^ Roeland Byl (27 June 2014). "Brussels Philharmonic profileert zich met nieuwe dirigent". Knack. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  14. ^ James McCarthy (27 June 2014). "Stéphane Denève to become Chief Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic". Gramophone. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  15. ^ Sophie Bourdais (29 August 2016). "Pour sortir au jour". Telerama. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  16. ^ Anthony Tommasini (7 August 1999). "Music Review: A Striking New Design For Poulenc's Nuns". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  17. ^ "The Philadelphia Orchestra Appoints Conducting Roster of Principal Guest Conductor, Conductor-in-Residence, and Assistant Conductor" (Press release). The Philadelphia Orchestra. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  18. ^ "The Philadelphia Orchestra Extends Stéphane Denève's Contract as Principal Guest Conductor for Three More Years, until 2019-20" (Press release). The Philadelphia Orchestra. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Stéphane Denève Named Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony" (Press release). St. Louis Symphony. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  20. ^ Matthew Westphal (24 July 2007). "Love Among the Grapevines: Conductor Weds Between Performances at Napa Valley's Festival del Sole". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  21. ^ Michael Tumelty (15 September 2010). "A modern-day hero". The Herald. Retrieved 21 November 2010.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Roger Norrington
Principal Conductor, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
(no successor; orchestra disbanded)
Preceded by
Michel Tabachnik
Chief Conductor, Brussels Philharmonic
Succeeded by