A French-Canadian takes a German orchestra

A French-Canadian takes a German orchestra


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2014

The new chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutschen Philharmonie, based in Herford, is Yves Abel. He succeeds Eugene Tzigane next January.

Abel was previously principal guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin.

yves abel


  • Mikey says:

    the name may be french, but he is not a “French-Canadian” conductor. Having French parents doesn’t make one “French-Canadian”. I know it may see like a minor nit-pik, but it’s not. Yannik Nezet-Seguin is a “French-Canadian” conductor. Yves Abel is a Torontonian born of French (from France) immigrant parents.

  • Wasn’t it Nureyev who, when being questioned at a border, said “My country is the theatre, my nationality is dance.”

    • Greg Hlatky says:

      “My heart is French but my ass is international” – Arletty, replying to accusations of horizontal collaboration.

  • Bcello says:

    But Mikey, isn’t the quandary that “French – Canadians” pertains specifically to people from Quebec ?

    It’s possible to be German-Canadian (cellist Johannes Moser) or Cuban-American (singer Gloria Estefan) or Swiss-Mexican (I’m sure there are some) … so what do we do about those such as Mr Abel in the confines of a headline ?

    • @Bcello: We call him Canadian, for that is what he is. He speaks French fluently but is otherwise entirely North American.

    • Mikey says:

      @Bcello: Mr Abel is simply Canadian. For the headline, it should simply have said “Canadian conductor”. He isn’t “French Canadian”. He was born in Toronto, of French immigrant parents.