Yannick rules himself out for Berlin

Yannick rules himself out for Berlin


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2015

The Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, an outside candidate for the Berlin Philharmonic vacancy in 2017, has removed himself from contention by signing on for five more years at Philadelphia, taking him to 2022.

Yannick is also music director in Rotterdam and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain in his native Montreal. He has been conducting in Berlin since 2010 and is well liked in the Philharmonie, but he has got his hands full for the next decade and more.

Press release follows:



(Philadelphia, January 30, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra today announces that Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin extends his tenure with the Orchestra through the 2021-22 season, his first contract renewal since beginning his tenure as the Orchestra’s eighth music director in September 2012.


Of the renewal, Nézet-Séguin commented: “The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy. I believe what we are doing artistically is so important, and it’s having a big impact on this community. But to do this work takes time, so I am thrilled that I will continue here as music director for at least another five years. Our work together is in many ways really just beginning, and now being able to settle in and think and plan long-term is really wonderful. And it is all the more gratifying that my close collaborations with both Rich and Allison will also continue.”


Simultaneously, the Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has renewed Chairman Richard B. Worley and President and CEO Allison Vulgamore, ensuring that the collective mission and vision established by the leadership triumvirate will continue to steward The Philadelphia Orchestra’s artistic growth and financial stability.


The Orchestra further announced today a remarkable gift from the Miller-Worley Foundation of $10 million. The lead gift, given by Leslie Anne Miller and Richard Worley through their foundation, will floor the Orchestra’s Comprehensive Campaign.


  • SDReader says:

    Why can’t they just sign the contract quietly without all the public kisses?

    And there is more than two years to go on the present contract, no? Why is it all so far in advance?

    This is about money, not art.

  • RW2013 says:

    Yankit MUST stay
    in the U.S. and A. !!!

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    He not remotely good enough for the Berlin Philharmonic.

    In fact, I’m surprised he’s got where he has to be honest- namely Philadelphia.

    He comes across as a nice, attractive kind of lad. But I once saw him guesting with the LPO and he was constantly lunging himself at the orchestra. They were amused but it looked rather ridiculous.

    • Emil Archambault says:

      Oh silly me, and I who thought it was all about sound and music!

    • NYMike says:

      If he were not remotely good enough for the BPO, they wouldn’t have guesting there since they’re self-governing and invite whom they want. His tenure in Philly has produced some remarkable music-making along with a love affair with most of its musicians.

    • Liebesfreud says:

      I would wish any who care about music- not just Classical, but MUSIC! – to attend 2 or 3 open rehearsals when YNS is conducting. The man is an intelligent, insightful, honest, kind and humble communicator who absolutely cares about and is devoted to the music, his musicians and the audiences.
      … which is not to say he is oblivious to the business side of things: far from it- but the driving force is love of the art- in each moment as well as with an eye for its long and healthy future.
      One only need experience his work to see this clearly.

  • phlmaestro65 says:

    In a perfect world, of course we’d love it to be only about the music. But with American orchestras, fundraising is hugely important. The announcement of Yannick’s contract renewal could put the minds of potential donors at ease. The Orchestra’s immediate future will probably be fairly stable compared to the recent past.

    On the artistic side, I’m thrilled. He’s the best thing to happen to the orchestra in a while. I just heard them live within the past couple weeks and the orchestra sounded fantastic.

  • Michael B. says:

    Ibnuni acres

  • Andrew says:

    I’m going to eliminate myself from Berlin right here and now.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Y N-S is pacing himself for the long game. He has resurrected Philadelphia from the eshes.

    This is admirable–and all too rare in showbiz.

  • Anon says:

    He hasn’t ruled himself out for anything with signing a new contract in Philadelphia. If Berlin Phil calls, any existing contract is wallpaper. Having said that, I think he is a good match for Philadelphia and would probably not become very happy in Berlin anyway.

  • MacroV says:

    It does seem to be the recent practice that BPO music directors don’t hold other major jobs, but conceivably YNS could drop Rotterdam and keep Philly while going to Berlin. But in any case everyone’s favorite seems to be Christian Thielemann, no?

  • Aimereg46 says:

    No please not Thielemann. He’s so boring.

  • Rgiarola says:

    Are there any favorite? Such Maazel and Barenboim on 1990 and 2002, or a real one?

  • Anon says:

    Berlin Phil will choose among the artistically sufficiently qualified candidates the one who:
    1.) is most promising in creating additional revenue for them, on top of their tax financed salaries.
    2.) has a strong image in the public yet is not too strong politically, so the orchestra members are not feeling subjugated anymore

    Which means: there is nobody.

    • Rgiarola says:


      Considering your two points, I will say that Kate Perry could be the name. Ok, that’s a bad joke.

      They won’t consider any artistic purpose, That’s it? If it is just for the money and front-pages, Dudamel as MD and Lang Lang for eternal artist in residence are the names. Why they aren’t your names?

      • Anon says:

        No. Major money makers for Berlin Phil were Salzburg and the New Years eve concert. Both are now under control of Thielemann. The rest is speculation…