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Lionel Bringuier

French conductor Lionel Bringuier’s artistic maturity, interpretive depth and distinct programming have quickly established him as one of the most engaging conductors of his generation. He appears frequently with top orchestras to great acclaim, all of which led to his being named chief conductor and music director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2012 at age 26. Entering the sixth season since his momentous debut with the Tonhalle, Bringuier’s bold vision and boundless energy – both on and off the podium – are breathing new life and vitality into a historic ensemble.

During the 2017-2018 season, Bringuier will be making two appearances with Orchestre National de Lyon in November 2017 and May 2018. Bringuier’s 2017-2018 season also includes appearances with Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Finnish & Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Malaysia Philharmonic among others. 

Bringuier has appeared as a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Philharmonia Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic, to name just a few.

Following the landmark inauguration of the Creative Chair Initiative for the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in his first season as chief conductor and music director, this season Bringuier will collaborate with the composer Brett Dean as TOZ Artist in Residence. The first ever Creative Chair role in Zurich was held by Esa-Pekka Salonen, followed by Jörg Widmann in the 2015-2016 season and Peter Eötvös in the 2016-2017 season. Previous TOZ Artists in Residence, Yuja Wang, Lisa Batiashvili and Martin Grubinger remain close collaborators. At the start of the 2017 season, Bringuier and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich embark on their first season at the Maag Hall and open the season with Beethoven’s ninth Symphony and Brett Dean’s Viola Concerto with the composer also as soloist.

Bringuier has conducted numerous premieres, including the world premiere of Bernard Rands's Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra with soloist Robert Walters and the Cleveland Orchestra, and the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Karawane with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. He has also led numerous regional premieres of works by John Corigliano, Marc-André Dalbavie, Magnus Lindberg, Bruno Mantovani, Gubaidulina and more. This season, Bringuier will lead the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and harpist Xavier Maistre in the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s “Trans” for Harp and Orchestra. He frequently collaborates with renowned solo artists, including pianists Yuja Wang, Nelson Freire, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Lang Lang; violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Renaud Capuçon, Leonidas Kavakos, Gil Shaham and Ray Chen; and cellist Gautier Capuçon.

His discography includes two Ravel compilations on Deutsche Grammophon, the latest being a complete survey of the composer’s orchestral works, with performances by Yuja Wang and Ray Chen. Lionel and Nelson Freire are featured on a Decca CD release of Chopin pieces, as well as a DVD capture of Bringuier’s debut at the BBC Proms. Additionally, Lionel, along with violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellist Gautier Capuçon, put forth an album of Saint-Saëns concerti on the Erato label.

Bringuier has received several awards recognizing his artistic achievements, including the "Médaille d'or à l'unanimité avec les félicitations du jury à l'Académie Prince Rainier III de Monaco" and the "Médaille d'or" from the city of Nice. He was also honored with prizes from the Schweizer Stiftung Langart and the Cziffra Foundation.

In 2007, after accepting an assistantship with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and an associateship with the Orchestre de Bretagne, he was chosen from nearly 150 applicants to serve under Esa-Pekka Salonen as assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and became (at 21 years of age) the youngest to do so in the orchestra’s history, and the youngest person to ever conduct at Disney Hall. His extraordinary rapport with the orchestra, critical acclaim and instant connection to the audiences, led to his reappointment under Gustavo Dudamel and subsequent promotion to resident conductor in 2011.

Bringuier embarked on a concurrent three-season tenure as music director of Spain’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in 2009 where he returns regularly.

Bringuier studied cello with Philippe Muller and conducting with Zsolt Nagy at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He received further career guidance via master classes from Péter Eötvös and Janos Fürst. Bringuier made his professional debut at the age of 14, conducting a live concert on French national television, followed by a triumph in Besançon at age 19 that launched his career.