Yannick Nézet-Séguin

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Yannick Nézet-Séguin.jpg
Nézet-Séguin at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, 18 June 2010
Yannick Séguin

(1975-03-06) 6 March 1975 (age 47)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Occupationconductor, pianist
Years active1994–present
Partner(s)Pierre Tourville

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, CC (French pronunciation: ​[ja.nik ne.zɛ se.ɡɛ̃]; born Yannick Séguin; 6 March 1975) is a Canadian (Québécois) conductor and pianist. He is currently music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was also principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2018.


Early years

Nézet-Séguin was born in Montreal on 6 March 1975 to two specialists in education, Serge P. Séguin, PhD, 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 Collège Mont-Saint-Louis Secondary School and at Bois-de-Boulogne College. In the meantime, he was admitted to Anisia Campos's 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 (George Benjamin, Roberto Carnevale, Daniele Gatti).

Early career

At 19, 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 two to four 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. Maestro Nézet-Séguin made his American conducting debut in 2002 at Sarasota Opera conducting Mozart's "Così fan tutte."

Orchestre Métropolitain

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. In September 2015, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract through the 2020–21 season. In September 2019, the orchestra announced its contract with Nézet-Séguin as a lifetime contract. 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 June 2013, the RPhO further extended his contract through the summer of 2018. In May 2015, the RPhO announced the conclusion of Nézet-Séguin's tenure as RPhO principal conductor at the end of the 2017–2018 season. He now has the title of Eredirigent (honorary conductor) of the RPhO.

Philadelphia Orchestra

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 was 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. In January 2015, the orchestra announced a five-year extension of Nézet-Séguin's contract to the 2021–2022 season. In June 2016, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract, through the 2025–26 season.

Metropolitan Opera

Nézet-Séguin began annual appearances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2009, making his début on 31 December 2009, conducting a new production of Carmen. There followed Don Carlo in 2010 and in 2015, Faust in 2011, La Traviata in 2013, and Rusalka in 2014. He opened the Met's 2015–16 season in September 2015 conducting a new production of Verdi's Otello, and returned in 2017 to conduct Der fliegende Holländer. On 2 June 2016, the Metropolitan Opera announced the appointment of Nézet-Séguin as the next music director, effective with the 2020–2021 season, with an initial contract of four years. He took the title of music director-designate as of the 2017–18 season. In February 2018, the company announced that Nézet-Séguin would take the title of music director two years early, as of the 2018–2019 season, following the Met's termination of James Levine for sexual misconduct.

Other major engagements

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. Following a May 2010 extension of his contract as LPO principal guest conductor, he stood down from the post in 2014. He made his Royal Opera House debut with Rusalka, the first stagings of the opera at Covent Garden, in 2012. He is also an honorary member and guest conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Personal life

Nézet-Séguin resides in Montreal and Philadelphia with his partner Pierre Tourville, a violist in the Orchestre Métropolitain. He has multiple pets, and has made a playlist on Spotify and Apple music for pets to listen to as part of his social media activities.



Orchestral works

Vocal recitals


Operas on video

See also

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by Principal Conductor and Artistic Director, Orchestre Métropolitain
Succeeded by
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by Music Director, Metropolitan Opera
Succeeded by