Youngest-looking conductor gets London orchestra

Youngest-looking conductor gets London orchestra


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2017

The Philharmonia Orchestra has named Jakub Hrůša and Santtu-Matias Rouvali as principal guest conductors.

Hrusa, 36, is Czech. He is chief conductor in Bamberg.

Rouvali is said to be 31 and looks 15 years younger. The Finn is chief conductor in Gothenburg.



  • RW2013 says:

    The Finn is the worst conductor I have ever seen.

    • Erward Grief says:

      Who was the other one you’ve seen? Bet you really haven’t even seen him working, you troll, or were you the one they didn’t pick?

      • RW2013 says:

        Yes, I’ve seen him.
        Have you?

        • Erward Grief says:

          Sure, lots of times from every direction. Never have I been disappointed. He will be one of the big ones- so sad you can’t recognize a talent when you see one.

          • Paul Davis says:

            Really sorry to sound a negative note as you seem an unconditional admirer, but the only time i saw Rouvali, in Montpellier Festival 2014 it was a disaster with dismal, confused playing, unrythmic beat, soloists in Rachmaninoff “Bells” unsupported, with either dragging or lurching tempi, the chorus all over the place….. a miracle it didn’t collapse totally. A pity, as the program was imaginative: Prok Cantata “Seven they are seven,” Shost 1st violin concerto (Capuçon)…. Chatting with orchestra members later, all were mystified as to where this oddity had sprung from and all predicted a rapid oblivion! But such is the modern music-industry world……. oh well. I’d certainly say he’s the worst young conductor i’ve heard, sorry.

      • Bruce says:

        It’s funny – reading Anthea’s latest diary entry, I had the thought that I hadn’t seen much from RW2013 in awhile, ever since s/he stopped being rude to her. That got me thinking (a little bit) about how some people don’t really seem to have anything to say unless they can say something negative. (Milka was the same way)

        Then I came to this post, and lo & behold, here’s RW2013 again.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Every conductor (and inexperienced ones especially) can have poor concerts, or concerts which go wrong.

  • Paul van Nieuwkerk says:

    I saw and heard him many,many times.
    Extremely gifted and musical talent !

  • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

    I haven’t yet heard Rouvali but I am delighted that Hrusa will be a regular guest conductor. Last Thursday, he led the Philharmonia in the best Brahms I have heard them play since Mackerras died.

  • May says:

    The Finnish Alondra de la Parra…

  • Ben says:

    Santu is, in my opinion, a very gifted chap. And I’m sure he will confinue to go onto great things. But I am surprised that an orchestra, such as the Philharmonia, has given him this position at this stage in his career. Jakub I can understand.

    • RW2013 says:

      Santu –
      right hand – figure of eight (the horizontal type), left hand – early Parkinson’s, walks in circles around the podium (and fell off it the last time I saw him), keeps his rhythm by bending his knees,
      an optical distraction, and all of this, all the time, no matter what the dynamic or tempo.
      But it’s all about the young, exxxxciting energy, isn’t it?

  • Jimmy says:

    Hrůša is a good conductor of symphonic and operatic music. His Rusalka with Glyndebourne on Tour was hugely impressive. I have to admit I don’t know Rouvali. I wonder why the reason two appointments were made because the principal conductor doesn’t actually do many concerts with them? Who knows?

    • Bruce says:

      In my student days in Boston, Ozawa used to conduct less than half of the Boston Symphony’s season. I no longer keep track, but I suppose other big orchestras are similar.

  • ben LEGEBEKE says:

    Very good choise indeed of the Philharmonia! I played with both conductors. Hrusa made no particular impression,but Rouvali is one of the greatest conducting talents I know!