Yannick is confirmed for German Beethoven cycle

Yannick is confirmed for German Beethoven cycle


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2021

Baden-Baden has confirmed it has received permission to perform the nine Beethoven symphonies in July for an audience of 250, which it hopes will rise to 500.

The symphonies will be played by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with the vastly over-committed Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is music director of the Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra and his home orchestra in Montreal.


  • A.L. says:

    He may soon find himself less committed, with only Philly and Montreal.

  • Gustavo says:


    After the pandemic, classical music will become more elitist.

  • Tamino says:

    Why would anyone want to hear (see?) a Beethoven cycle with YNS? Why?
    They should better play the CDs of the COE’s own excellent recordings of the Beethoven Symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

    Well, I hope the intermission and post-concert Champagne will be good.

  • phf655 says:

    Since the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera aren’t performing, it is hard to say that YNS is presently ‘overcommitted’. I don’t know what the situation is in Montreal, but in recent years he has conducted no more than several concerts a year with that orchestra.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    The man should have one principal commitment. My mother always taught me to just do ONE task really well…a good lesson in focus and duty.

    All this man does is collect titles…and fees. Yes, he may be talented, but think how far his abilities would develop with true fealty?

    The Met, Philadelphia, and Montreal are the willing suckers and their audiences the losers.

    • Alexander Hall says:

      It’s the same problem with singers who cannot say “no”. I have lost track of the many sopranos and tenors (other voices are not excluded) who ended up ruining their voices because they attempted far too much far too soon. Sadly, there are many, many younger conductors who believe that if they don’t clutch every opportunity they are given, this will damage their future careers. The reverse is true. Never forget that by limiting his appearances Carlos Kleiber drove up his market value and had ample time to hone his interpretations. In this respect less is always more.

    • He does what he wishes and frankly does not need to care about you. If you don’t like dont go!

    • M.E.Turing says:

      but don’t you realise that he is the best conductor that ever existed? forget everybody, let us elect YNS as ruler of the musical world!! By the way, I am going to listen to the “awful” version conducted by Haitink with the LSO. Sorry fellows……

      • Stuart says:

        Love Haitink but not his LSO Beethoven set, which is not awful, just dull with little new to say.

    • M.E.Turing says:

      But don’t you realise that he is the best conductor that ever existed? He should be elected as ruler of the musical world. By the way, I am about to listen to Haitink conduct Beethoven with the LSO. Sorry fellows….

  • andrew.tindall says:

    That’s money for old rope, IMHO

  • Darrell says:

    Concert goers quite often want to hear again what they already know and it happens that what they already know is quite limited, hence the same works are always repeated.

    • Anon says:

      No. Concertgoers want to hear great music.

      • Arthur Schnitzel says:

        But great music isn’t limited to Brahms, Mahler, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky & co which represent 90% of concerts programmes. It’s kinda sad that a guy like Nezet-Seguet who is able to draw an audience just based on his name isn’t more daring when it comes to his programmes…

        • Tamino says:

          well, money…
          all orchestras can play the Beethoven symphonies in their sleep. All conductors can conduct them without preparation. easy job, good money, conductor and agent laughing all the way to the bank.

        • Anon says:

          Nowhere in recent years have I seen a small group of composers represent “90%” of programming. Did you just make that up?
          In reality, it’s become extremely difficult to find live performances of Beethoven.

  • Stuart says:

    vastly over-committed – why the dig?

  • Monsoon says:

    The “overcommitted” comment makes no sense in this context.

    Even in non-COVID times, YNS would only infrequently conduct the MET and Philadelphia during the summer (he’d do tours and an occasional concert at a summer residence). In fact, it’s basically a 100 year old U.S. tradition that the music director spend the summer conducting festivals in Europe.

    And logistically, two of YNS’ ensembles are separated by an hour and 15 minute train ride, and Montreal to New York City is less than an hour and 30 minute flight.

    That’s way better than the many, many conductors who lead ensembles on different continents, separated by 7+ hour flights.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      The music director of an opera house requires more responsibilities than the rehearsal hall. Like Levine or not, in his heyday, he was more hands on and present. The quality followed.

    • Emil says:

      And he barely guest conducts. He travels internationally far less than many other conductors.

  • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

    I am assuming that these concerts will be recorded by DG (they had been announced so earlier), so I’ll repost something I wrote earlier:

    As a 32-year subscriber and monthly donor to the Philadelphia Orchestra, I am deeply dismayed that he treats the organization that pays him handsomely as a rehearsal band for the CoE. Sawallisch would never have considered doing this.

    • The COE is regularly a Baden Baden Orchestra. It’s a festival. You want to replace the Bayreuth festival orchestra or Lucerne with the Philadelphia Orchestra?

    • Monsoon says:

      Well that’s ludicrous. He’s already made a number of recordings with Philly for DG and they’re in the middle of a Rachmaninoff cycle.

      If anyone has a right to feel shafted, I’d say it’s the Met Opera Orchestra. I’m sure they were hoping that under YNS they’d begin releasing orchestral recordings again.

    • Joseph says:

      Who has been the rehearsal band for YNS’ ongoing Rachmaninoff cycle with the Philadelphia Orchestra, also on DG? Just wondering.

  • Joseph says:

    Glad he’s going to Baden Baden. Was supposed to perform there with the Met orchestra. But hey, why would he want to play with those guys. In any rate, hope he gets a lovely robe in the baths. Looking forward to some pics!!!

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    The world needs another Beethoven cycle.

    Thank you YNS for this creative programming!

  • BigSir says:

    What do these posters who have never stood on a podium and probably work 9 – 5 know about over committed?