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” (Cleveland.com). 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’.Read more
Also a virtuoso violinist, Szeps-Znaider maintains his reputation as one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument with a busy calendar of concerto and recital engagements. This season, he makes appearances with the Danish National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic as well as the Chicago Symphony and Singapore Symphony, where he will combine both his playing and conducting abilities. He will also be making his highly anticipated return to London’s Wigmore Hall, performing with pianist and long-time collaborator Saleem Ashkar.
Szeps-Znaider boasts an extensive discography of much of the core repertoire for violin. A complete collection of Mozart’s Violin Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, where Szeps Znaider directs from the violin, led The Strad to declare his playing as “possibly among the most exquisite violin sound ever captured on disc”. Other recordings of particular note include the Nielsen Violin Concerto with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, the Elgar Concerto in B minor with Sir Colin Davis and the Dresden Staatskapelle, award-winning recordings of the Brahms and Korngold concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic, the Beethoven and Mendelssohn concerti with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, the Prokofiev Concerto No. 2 and Glazunov Concerto with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Mendelssohn Concerto on DVD with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Szeps-Znaider has also recorded the complete works of Brahms for violin and piano with Yefim Bronfman.
Szeps-Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent, and is President of the Nielsen Competition, which takes place every three years in Odense, Denmark. He plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theatre through the generosity of the VELUX Foundations, the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation.
“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.”
“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.”
“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”
Music Director Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider & Orchestre national de Lyon Extend Relationship Through the 2026/27 Season
Music Director Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider & Orchestre national de Lyon today announced that they have extended their relationship through the 2026/27 season. They write: Acting on a proposal by Aline Sam-Giao, Executive Director of the Auditorium-Orchestre national de...
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....
Stéphane Denève and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider return from a triumphant 5-date North American tour with the Brussels Philharmonic. Led by their, “formidable music director Stéphane Denève, the orchestra brought both the familiar and the unusual to the hall in a concert of...