Hailed as “enormously talented” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Russian-born German conductor Sergey Neller studied composition and piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and conducting at the Universität der Künste Berlin. He came to the attention of the classical music world as the 2nd Prize Winner of the prestigious 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition hosted by the Bamberg Symphony. He has collaborated with such renowned ensembles as the Bamberg, Berlin and Brandenburg Symphony Orchestras, the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Régional de Cannes, and the Brandenburg State Orchestra of Frankfurt among others, and counts among his mentors such luminary figures as John Carewe, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jorma Panula, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Simon Rattle and David Zinman, with whom he worked in orchestral masterclasses with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich.
Recent highlights include debuts with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava, and Nürnberger Symphoniker, where Neller directed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 from the piano, and conducted works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. He also conducted a studio recording session of Shostakovich’s 12th Symphony with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra for Bayerischer Rundfunk, and returned to the orchestra at the end of 2017 for a series of educational concerts. He recently made his US debut with the Jacksonville Symphony, where Neller once again directed from the piano, this time in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, leading one review to describe him as “a remarkably talented artist”. He also participated as one of four selected conductors in masterclasses with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Daniele Gatti, and assisted Vladimir Jurowski at Russia’s State Academic Symphony Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov”.
Upcoming highlights include a new production of Rodion Shchedrin’s opera Lolita at the National Theatre Prague, and a concert of Sofia Gubaidulina’s works with ensemble unitedberlin in the Konzerthaus Berlin.
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.
This week the Oulu Symphony Orchestra plays host to two of IMG Artists’ rising stars, making their debuts with Finland’s northernmost symphony orchestra. On 1st February, at Madetoja Hall, Sergey Neller will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 ‘Winter Daydreams’,...
“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.”
“Neller is clearly a remarkably talented artist. He never broke a sweat or seemed overburdened in the slightest with his dual role of featured soloist and conductor. He both played and conducted entirely from memory, with wit and delight, earnest and utterly lost in the moment.”
“The young Sergey Neller pushes the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra to peak performance”
“An excellent craftsman who shines with superior understanding and yet shows a modesty. He has done something very beautiful!”