Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider will assume the position of Music Director of Orchestre national de Lyon in September 2020 for an initial contract of four years. He succeeds Leonard Slatkin, Music Director from 2011 – 2017 who now holds the title of Honorary Conductor.

The 43-year-old Danish musician has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of both the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Mariinsky Theater Orchestra in St. Petersburg and regularly conducts many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony.

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider has conducted the Orchestre national de Lyon in two programs since his debut in December 2017, immediately confirming a strong chemistry with both the orchestra and audience, as well as his skills in conducting a wide repertoire and the desire to work in great detail with the musicians, both on a musical and human level.

In such an accomplished musician, the Orchestre national de Lyon has found a modern and charismatic Music Director whose artistic exigency and technical expertise go hand in hand with a commitment to the orchestra and the city of Lyon.

“I couldn’t imagine better circumstances under which to begin this next chapter of my musical life. The Orchestre national de Lyon is based in a vibrant city that offers full and meaningful support to its cultural institutions of which the ONL is a particularly precious gem. It is already a marvellous ensemble with its own distinct sound and the musicians have a healthy pride in their heritage whilst possessing the hunger necessary to climb to and reach new heights. It is an honour, a privilege and above all a great pleasure to be joining them in this quest.”

– Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

“Together with the musicians, I am convinced that Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider is at the ideal moment in his career to take the Orchestre national de Lyon to an unparalleled level. We are very excited to embark on our musical journey with him in his first position as a Music Director.”

Aline Sam-Giao, Chief Executive, Orchestre national de Lyon

“Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider has convinced us of his ability to carry the Orchestra to the highest level, cultivating both artistic excellence as well as appealing to a wide audience. In combination with the orchestra’s talent, the charisma and musical qualities of this young conductor and violinist of world renown, will, in my opinion, contribute strongly to the reputation of the Orchestre national de Lyon.”

Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon