Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

Conductor, Violin

Music Director  – Orchestre national de Lyon

Managed in association with Enticott Music Management


Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider is one of those rare musicians who has “transitioned uncommonly well to the podium, bringing his violinist’s insight and profound musicality” ( The 23/24 season marks his fourth as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, a partnership that has already been extended until 26/27.

Szeps-Znaider regularly features as guest conductor with some of the world’s leading orchestras, with recent and forthcoming performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Bamberg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. An imminent return to the Chicago Symphony continues a flourishing relationship with the orchestra: ‘his mastery showed in a thousand details[…]. An almost steely clarity marked every measure of the performance, and yet the conductor never lost sign of the music’s essential humanity, its vitality and warmth (Chicago On The Aisle). On the operatic front, following an outstandingly successful debut conducting ‘The Magic Flute’ at the Dresden Semperoper, Szeps-Znaider was immediately re-invited to conduct ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ in Autumn 2019. He also recently made his debut with the Royal Danish Opera and the Zurich Opera House with new productions of ‘The Magic Flute’.

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“Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, the soloist in the Karol Szymanowski Violin Concerto no. 2, is a marvel. His playing was powerful, secure and expressive…. The mid-concerto cadenza, two and a half minutes of ferociously tumbling and immaculately tuned double stops, was worth the trip all by itself.”

David Wolfson


“This Mahler Five was spine-shudderingly good… there was also much sumptuous, idiomatically Viennese string playing to admire — and especially the silky deftness, free of cloying over-sentimentality, that Znaider encouraged in the Adagietto.”

Richard Morrison

The Times

“You could pick out strands of soloist Nikolaj Znaider’s musical DNA – the sweetness of Fritz Kreisler, the muscularity of Zino Francescatti, and his own exquisite wisdom for setting off the poetic against the prosaic”

Peter Dobrin

Recent News

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider Opens First Season as MD in Lyon

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider commences his first season as Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon this week as planned, with a gala concert on 17 September 2020 featuring soloist, Saleem Ashkar, and narrator, Julie Depardieu, broadcast nationally on France Musique....