Born in Russia, Sergey Neller studied at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, before becoming a Fellow of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation at the Universitat der Künste in Berlin. A rising talent on today’s conducting scene, Neller achieved critical acclaim and distinction in 2016 when he took second prize at the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, hosted by the Bamberg Symphony.
Neller’s dynamic style and deep musical knowledge have led him to collaborate with several renowned ensembles, including taking part in masterclasses with the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich and the Orchestre Régional de Cannes-Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and workshops with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. Whilst finalising his studies in Berlin, Neller led performances with the Berlin Symphony and Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, and worked with the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Recent highlights include his debut with the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, and he participated as one of four selected conductors in masterclasses with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, under the direction of Daniele Gatti. In the 17/18 season and beyond, Neller will make his debut with the South Netherlands Philharmonic, the Janacek Philharmonic of Ostrava, the Jacksonville Symphony and the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestras, and return to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
Neller counts among his mentors such luminary figures as Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jorma Panula, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and David Zinman. As a gifted composer, from 2002 to 2006 Neller was the recipient of the renowned Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation Award, during which period he composed his first opera, ‘Tintagiles’ and premiered it at the Helikon Opera in Moscow. Composed to an original libretto based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s play ‘The Death of Tintagiles’, the work attracted the attention of the international press and resonated strongly with Russian audiences. In 2010, Neller completed his second opera, ‘Phaedra’, composed to a libretto by the contemporary Russian poet and playwright Alexey Parin. Neller has also enjoyed considerable success as a pianist, having won international competitions in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and the United States, and given concerts throughout Europe, North America and Australia. He has also made several recordings of works by Chopin, Medtner, Oborin and Scriabin.
“Neller has the sort of charisma given only to few conductors. […] the Widmann was a riot, despatched with crisp panache, and Neller has a sense of humour. Best of all was the Mahler. This was taken at a genuine Adagio and fully sustained. It was truly impressive with that rare sense of time suspended. […] the Mahler was profoundly impressive. Neller clearly commands the grand manner of some older maestros and he can also get playing of real inwardness and spirituality.”Douglas Cooksey