Just in: Yannick becomes conductor-for-life

Just in: Yannick becomes conductor-for-life


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2019

LudwigVan reports from Montreal that Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now in his 20th year with the Orchestre Métropolitain, has signed a contract for life.

The small print says he’ll stay ‘so long as the musicians want me’.

Yannick is also music director at the Phildelphia Orchestra and the Met.

More here.

He gives his reasons here:



  • Bunny says:

    He is overparted. The Met should start looking for a new conductor.

  • That man loves Montreal, but not in the winter (from a Montrealer). 🙂

    Yannick’s devotion to that orchestra is quite remarkable. So many front line conductors have decamped when a ‘big job’ arrives.

    It’s a fine orchestra.

    My friends in the orchestra tell of a continuing musical love affair.

    A great story in these days of ‘what’s in it for me?’.

    • Brian says:

      They were absolutely brilliant on their European tour. Heard both programmes.

    • Karl says:

      The audience loves him too. Applause fades pretty fast for any other artist, but not Yannick. And with his Met connections he is able to bring some big name singers like Rolando Villazón and Ildar Abdrazakov.

  • V.Lind says:

    They’ll want him till he drops. He has been the making of that orchestra, and as his success internationally has risen, he has never turned his back on them or shortchanged them.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Stretched thin with musical results to match.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Go the Canadians: a wonderful nation!!

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Can a conductor be with more than one orchestra “til death do us part” or is that polyphony, I mean polygamy?

  • music_montreal says:

    A bit of perspective: Zubin was conductor-for-life in Israel Phil, and Karajan for Berlin Phil. Good job YNS being appointed lifer of a regional orchestra

    • Emil says:

      A “regional” orchestra with a widely acclaimed European tour, an upcoming American tour, and CD releases on DG. I’ll take it.

      • Karl says:

        They wouldn’t have the tour or the CDs without Yannick though. I’m not saying that they are not an excellent orchestra though. I attend the concerts no matter who conducts. Ten years ago they would give an occasional sub-par performance, but now their play is first rate for every concert.

      • music_montreal says:

        When they start to release orchestral recordings – and not just soloist back-up band stuff – on DG I’ll agree. When they do more than 8 (or so) programs a season I’ll agree. But for now this is still a part-time orchestra, like many regional ensembles. But they are in a big city, so ‘regional’ was perhaps not the best choice of word.

    • PHF says:

      Hahahaha, yes, great joke comparing these three orchestras.

    • Bruce says:

      “Good job YNS being appointed lifer of a regional orchestra”

      Maybe this relationship is based on mutual respect and affection, and — as in the best relationships — they don’t care what other people think.

      Just a thought.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Yes. He is playing with them because he enjoys it, he is from Montreal, and he appreciates that they gave him his first chance to learn how to conduct an orchestra. Obviously these days the main benefit is for the orchestra, but what is wrong with returning the favour. In any case, it is only a few weeks a year and not too much work.

  • Mark says:

    If only they could keep him there permanently …

  • sam says:

    Nothing ever good comes from appointing someone for life.