Nathalie Stutzmann

conductor, contralto

Nathalie Stutzmann has just been announced as the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductor from season 21/22. The three-year tenure will involve a regular presence in the orchestra’s subscription series in Philadelphia and at its Summer festivals in Vail and Saratoga. Nathalie is also entering the third season of a highly successful tenure as Chief Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, a tenure which has just been extended by a further two seasons, to the end of 22/23.

Nathalie Stutzmann is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time. Charismatic musicianship, combined with unique rigour, energy and fantasy, characterise her style. A rich variety of strands form the core of her repertoire: Central European and Russian romanticism is a strong focus — ranging from Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Dvorak through to the larger symphonic forces of Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner and Strauss — as well as French 19th century repertoire and impressionism. Highlights from her partnership with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra include acclaimed performances of Bruckner’s Symphony No.7, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 and a complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies.

Nathalie was also Principal Guest Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland 2017-2020. Her sold-out performances with the RTE NSO in Dublin attracted outstanding accolades from the press, with particular praise for her performances of Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5, and Mahler’s complete Das Knaben Wunderhorn.

As a guest conductor, Nathalie began the season 20/21 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and returns to them twice during the season. Other guest conducting highlights over the next two seasons include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Métropolitain Montreal, NDR Elbphilharmonie, London Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquesta Nacional de España and Finnish Radio Symphony.

Nathalie has also established a strong reputation as an opera conductor. She will open her 21/22 season with a conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera (Iphigenie en Tauride). Last season she was due to conduct Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama at La Monnaie in Brussels (cancelled due to COVID-19), which has now been re-scheduled in 22/23. In recent years she conducted critically acclaimed performances of Wagner’s Tannhäuser (2017, Monte Carlo Opera), Boito’s Mefistofele (2018 Chorégies d’Orange festival in Provence).

Nathalie started her studies at a very young age in piano, bassoon, cello and studied conducting with the legendary Finnish teacher Jorma Panula. She was mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle who says that “Nathalie is the real thing. So much love, intensity and sheer technique. We need more conductors like her”. Nathalie continues to keep a few projects as a singer each season, primarily recitals and performances with her own ensemble. In January 2019 she was elected a Chevalier in the ‘Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur’, France’s highest honour. France had previously honoured her unique contribution to the country’s cultural life by electing her ‘Commandeur des Arts et Lettres’ and ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite’.

Nathalie is an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato. Her next album, Contralto, will be released in January 2021.

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 3 – with Nathalie Stutzmann