photo by Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal
Thirty-one-year-old Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been appointed to succeed Valery Gergiev as music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, effective August 2008.
According to a statement from the Canadian label ATMA Classique, Nézet-Séguin was unanimously approved by the Rotterdam musicians.
Nézet-Séguin has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal since March 2000. He has led the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Flemish Radio Symphony, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He was named principal guest conductor of the Victoria Symphony in British Columbia in January 2003.
Since 2001 Nézet-Séguin has made seven recordings for ATMA Classique: four with the Orchestre métropolitain du Grand Montréal and, as a pianist, three duo recital albums. His next CD with the OMGM, due for release early next year, features Bruckner's Symphony No. 7. In January 2006, he was awarded the Opus Prize for International Distinction.
Born in Montreal in 1975, Nézet-Séguin studied at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, where he obtained five First Prizes, including a summa cum laude in piano. After his conservatory studies he worked and studied with Carlo Maria Giulini during that conductor's final year of performing, 1997-98.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic has a record of hiring chief conductors who go on to major international careers: in addition to Gergiev, Nézet-Séguin's predecessors in the post include James Conlon, Edo de Waart and Simon Rattle.