Swiss-Australian conductor Elena Schwarz (b. 1985) was prize-winner at the Princess Astrid Competition (First Prize, Norway, 2014) and the Jorma Panula Competition (Second Prize, Vaasa, 2015), and was selected as one of three young conductors supported by the French Performer’s Association Adami (October 2016).
She was appointed Assistant Conductor to Mikko Franck at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (2017-2018), concurrently with a Joint Assistantship to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Marko Letonja) and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Asher Fisch).
In May 2017 she conducted a program of Ravel’s music at Maison de Radio with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, substituting for Mikko Franck at the last minute, and she recently stood in for him again to conduct a performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 at the Festival de Saint Denis. Other recent conducting engagements include “Portrait” concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Nicolas Bacri), and the Lucerne Festival Academy (Olga Neuwirth), as well as performances with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta de Lausanne, Orchestre de Cannes, Orchestre de Pasdeloup, Orchestre de Opéra National de Lorraine, and the 2016 Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, where she conducted Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto with soloists Renaud Capuçon and Nicholas Angelich.
Forthcoming highlights include conducting engagements with the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Pasdeloup, Orchestre de Opéra National de Lorraine, Orchestre de Cannes, Musikfabrik Cologne, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She assists Kazushi Ono on a production of Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel with the Orchestre de Paris at the Festival Aix en Provence this summer.
After studying cello and musicology at the Geneva Conservatoire and University, Elena Schwarz was admitted to the conducting course of Laurent Gay at the Geneva Conservatoire, from which she graduated with a Master’s degree. She subsequently specialized in contemporary performance with Arturo Tamayo (Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana). Further studies took her to Peter Eötvös and Matthias Pintscher, and she participated in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink at the Lucerne Festival and Neeme Järvi at the Gstaad Festival.