Music Director: Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine
The 2011/12 season sees Kwamé Ryan in his fifth season as Music Director of the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. As well as his subscription concerts this year, he will also conduct a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth. Last season ended with extremely successful debuts for Orchestre National de Belgique and Grant Park Festival, Chicago – both engagements resulting in immediate re-invitations. This season sees him conduct a new production of Berlioz Damnation of Faust for Wurttembergische Staatsoper Stuttgart in autumn 2011 and Kwamé also makes his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in a two-week project.
Kwamé's recordings with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine have received critical acclaim, particularly CDs of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, and Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 1 & 2, for the Mirare label.
In December 2010 Kwamé was awarded the title of Officier dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres - given for significant contribution to art and literature, by Frédéric Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture. He also served as Artistic Director of the Orchestre Francais des Jeunes in 2009 and 2010.
Kwamé Ryan is one of those music directors whom we do not salute often enough. Under his baton, the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine achieved a full and rich sound that has not before been heard. The Canadian has a real affinity with the Verdi repertoire, the music ignites when needed, exciting and sinuous by turn, and is appropriately disturbing when required. (Opéra, March 2012)
“Music director Kwamé Ryan gives Richard Strauss’ score all the elegance and refinement of the 18th century from which it draws its inspiration…" (Altamusica, February 2011)
“In the 2nd half of the concert Kwamé Ryan‘s conducting brought out the musician’s remarkable performance of Tchaikovsky’s symphony. He conducts with undisguised pleasure, making the score dance and passing on all of his energy and emotion to the orchestra. A standing ovation ended the evening.” (La Marseillaise, August 2010)
“Kwamé Ryan conducted with passion and precision, giving a rare presence to the orchestra.” (La Provence, August 2010)
“In the first movement Kwamé Ryan and his musicians depict a magnificent portrait of morbid despair, reminiscences of sweet love, and the bitterness of the struggle of life.”…The audience was so moved by the unity, fervour and unique performance given by KR that they remained silent long after the last notes had died, before thanking the artists for such a wonderful concert.” (Concertonet.com, August 2010)
“…an individual approach to Schubert, clear, transparent, flowing, going against the grain of a whole tradition of over-romantic interpretations of this symphony.” (Le Figaro, January 2008)
“A la fois incroyablement précis et d’un swing contagieux, Kwamé Ryan consacre toute son énergie et sa rigueur a la mise en valeur de cette partition.” (Le Figaro, November 2009)
“This all gives Le Balcon massively improved viability and it certainly worked its magic on the first-night audience, not least because Kwamé Ryan’s conducting of a kaleidoscope of ravishing textures was a feast for the ears.” (Financial Times, November 2009)
Kwamé Ryan debuts with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Kwamé Ryan conducts Berlioz's Damnation of Faust at Oper Stuttgart
Kwamé Ryan makes his debut at Chicago's Grant Park Festival
Kwamé Ryan makes his debut with Orchestre National de Belgique
Kwamé Ryan awarded Officier dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres by French Minister of Culture