The Metropolitan Opera has announced that the acclaimed Canadian conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be the company’s new Music Director. The position has previously been held by only two artists in the company’s 133-year history – James Levine, who after 40 years in the position stepped down at the end of the 2015/16 season to become the company’s first Music Director Emeritus, and Rafael Kubelik, who held the title briefly in the company’s 1973-74 season.
In the Met’s 2017-18 season, Nézet-Séguin will assume the interim title of Music Director Designate and become Music Director from the 2020-21 season, the first season in which he is available to take over the full responsibilities of the position. However, he will immediately become involved in the company’s artistic planning, which happens many years in advance.
As Music Director, Nézet-Séguin will be responsible for the overall musical quality of the Met. He will have artistic authority over the company’s orchestra, chorus and music staff, and will work in tandem with Met General Manager, Peter Gelb, to oversee the planning and casting of each season, including repertoire choices, new productions (including the selection of creative teams), revivals, and commissions.
Nézet-Séguin will initially conduct five different operas each season he is Music Director, as well as concerts with the Met Orchestra. In each of the seasons in which he is Music Director Designate, Nézet-Séguin will conduct two operas. Next season he will conduct his first Wagner opera with the company, a revival of Der Fliegende Holländer.
Nézet-Séguin made his Met debut in the 2009-10 season, conducting a new production of Carmen. He has returned in every subsequent season, leading acclaimed performances of Don Carlo, Faust, La traviata, and Rusalka.
Nézet-Séguin’s operatic career was launched when he was appointed Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor of the Montreal Opera at age 23. Since then, he has conducted a wide repertoire at a number of the world’s leading companies including the Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, Dutch National Opera and the Salzburg Festival, in addition to the Met. He is also a frequent guest conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Since 2012, Nézet-Séguin has been Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which announced today that he has extended his contract with them through 2025-26. He is also the Music Director of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain and of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a position he will give up at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.