Music Director Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider & Orchestre national de Lyon today announced that they have extended their relationship through the 2026/27 season.
Acting on a proposal by Aline Sam-Giao, Executive Director of the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon, the Mayor of Lyon Grégory Doucet, in agreement with the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul-Malak, has decided to renew the contract of the Music Director Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider for three years from the 2024/25 season.
Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider assumed the leadership of the Orchestre national de Lyon in September 2020 for four seasons. At the end of the first two seasons, he has confirmed his desire to stay on at the head of the orchestra. The renewal of his contract, with the backing of a great majority of the musicians, will enable him to carry out his project over seven years. “This renewal is important for enabling us to reap the benefits of the far-reaching work in progress over the past two years” said Aline Sam-Giao.
Over the course of his first two seasons, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider’s painstaking and rigorous work, along with his inspiring vision and infectious energy, has considerably enhanced the orchestra’s qualities. “Giving this relationship more time should enable it to become so natural that each party will instinctively know what the other expects” confided Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.
He has set out to earn recognition for the ONL as a major international orchestra through its artistic work, recordings, tours and association with his own international renown. From 2024 onward, he plans to not only continue drawing on the orchestra’s warm and generous sound but also to work on its performance of the standard repertoire that forms the mainstay of every orchestra, the major German repertoire dear to his heart, such as Mahler and Strauss, and the French composers embedded in the DNA of the Orchestre national de Lyon.
Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider is also keen to cement the trust being forged with the people of Lyon by reaching out to the population at off-site concerts scheduled in the city.
“I have big plans for the orchestra and I think we’re heading in the right direction, but it takes time for an ensemble and its music director to find their own voice. I know we’ll get there with steady work and commitment on both my part and that of the musicians.” – Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon
“I’m thrilled to see Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider renewed at the head of the Orchestre national de Lyon. It will enable us to further strengthen our artistic and human bond and together develop very ambitious musical projects. I hope the journey will continue and that he’ll lead us as far as possible!” – Giovanni Radivo, Concertmaster, Orchestre national de Lyon
“The City of Lyon is very pleased to see Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider renewed as Music Director. At the head of the orchestra’s 104 permanent musicians, he will be able to continue connecting with audiences in Lyon and channel his talent into the Orchestre national de Lyon’s missions of excellence and openness.” – Nathalie Perrin-Gilbert, Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture.
Photo: Julien Mignot