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STÉPHANE DENÈVE is Chief Conductor Designate of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR), and takes up the position in September 2011. He is also Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, a post he has held since 2005.
Recognized internationally as a conductor of the highest caliber, Stéphane Denève has won praise from audiences and critics alike for his performances and programming. With the Royal Scottish National Orchestra he has performed at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Festival Présences as well as celebrated venues throughout Europe, including the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. He and the orchestra have made a number of acclaimed recordings together, including an ongoing survey of the works of Albert Roussel for Naxos. In 2007 they won a Diapason d’Or de l’année award for the first disc in the series.
A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire, where he was awarded a unanimous First Prize in 1995, Denève began his career as Georg Solti’s assistant for Bluebeard’s Castle with the Orchestre de Paris (1995) and Don Giovanni at the Paris National Opera (1996). He also assisted Georges Prêtre for Turandot at the Paris National Opera (1997) and Seiji Ozawa for Les dialogues des Carmélites at the Saito Kinen Festival (1998). At home in a broad range of repertoire and a champion of new music, Denève has a particular affinity with the music of his native France, and has conducted works by Grétry, Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Roussel, Fauré, and Poulenc. In recent years he has also premiered a number of works by the contemporary French composer Guillaume Connesson.
Recent engagements have included a major European tour with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Hilary Hahn; debuts with the NDR Symphony Hamburg, Maggio Musicale Florence, the London Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Barcelona Symphony, the BBC Symphony, and the Danish National Symphony; returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic; and his debut at La Scala, Milan, conducting Gounod’s Faust.
Highlights in the 2010/11 season include a BBC Prom with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Paul Lewis; his debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony; returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic; and his debut at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, conducting Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe-bleue in a production by Claus Guth.
Denève enjoys close relationships with many of the world’s leading solo artists, and has performed, among others, with Natalie Dessay, Nina Stemme, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Vogt, Nikolai Lugansky, Emanuel Ax, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Nikolaj Znaider, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonidas Kavakos, Hilary Hahn, Vadim Repin, and Gil Shaham. In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève has conducted productions at the Royal Opera House (Così fan tutte), the Glyndebourne Festival (Carmen), La Scala (Faust), Netherlands Opera (L’amour des trois oranges), La Monnaie (La traviata; La voix humaine), Opéra National de Paris (Don Quichotte; La bohème; Le nozze di Figaro), the Teatro Comunale Bologna (Béatrice et Bénédict), and Cincinnati Opera (Erwartung; Carmen; Bluebeard’s Castle).