The violinist Danish Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider has been appointed music director of the Orchestre national de Lyon, a post vacant for two years and the departure of the holder Leonard Slatkin, announced on Monday the municipality. Nikolaj Znaider, 43 years old, presented by the mayor LREM Gérard Collomb as “one of the five best violinists in the world”, will take over his duties .
If it has developed in recent years to a career as a conductor, in parallel to his activity of soloist, Lyon will be his first position as musical director. The undertaking provides for its presence in Lyon twelve weeks per year, for a contract “original four seasons”, which will allow him to continue to pursue his career as a violinist in the whole world.
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“A number of chiefs who had been invited to the past two seasons have been the subject, without them knowing, an evaluation of the part of the orchestra”
His appointment confirms the youthful look that blows on the musical institutions in lyon: Daniele Rustioni, conductor of the orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon, and the other training symphony of the city, is 35-year-old. Gérard Collomb explained that a “number of leaders who had been invited to the past two seasons have been the object, without their knowledge, an assessment of the part of the orchestra”. Nikolaj Znaider, who led the training on two occasions over this period, has been “acclaimed” by the musicians who had voted for him to 83%.
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This time was that of a meeting “of light” between head “to the artistic qualities and exceptional human” and its future musicians, welcomed the director-general of the ONL Aline Sam-Giao. “It was not possible to appoint a head who has not been proven vis-à-vis the orchestra and the public,” she noted.
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over the past season, Nikolaj Znaider has led the Chicago symphony Orchestra, New York philharmonic, the London symphony Orchestra, the symphony Orchestra of Detroit and the Cleveland orchestra. During the press conference, Nikolaj Znaider, recalled that he had made his first steps as a soloist in Vienna… under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, who still occupies today the post of music director emeritus of the ONL.
The formation of lyon is especially known for his interpretations of the French repertoire of the Nineteenth and of the Twentieth century. Under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, it has developed its international stature, with tours in the United States (in 2017), in Germany and in the netherlands (2018) and China (2019).