There are few international conductors of any generation whose collaboration is more frequently sought by today’s leading orchestras and soloists than Lionel Bringuier. While still in his early thirties, he has already travelled extensively across the globe at the invitation of symphonies, chamber orchestras and opera houses, and he is personally honoured this season, 2019/20, by his home town, where he has accepted the position of Artiste Associé with Opéra de Nice. This unique appointment, which marks the beginning of a special new long-term relationship with the house and the municipality, gives him the opportunity to curate a series of special programmes which he will also conduct, and to invite several of his closest musical partners, including Hélène Grimaud, Renaud Capuçon and Nicolas Bringuier.
Bringuier’s close relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic already spans more than a decade, and during this period he has also developed a strong reputation across North America, working with the orchestras in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, Atlanta and Baltimore, as well as the New York Philharmonic.
Very well-known across Europe, most recently having served as Music Director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich (2014 – 18), Bringuier has held previous posts at the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León in Valladolid, the Orchestre de Bretagne, and Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. He works regularly with orchestras including Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Swedish Radio Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in 2018 earned superb reviews for his ‘remarkable’ London Symphony Orchestra debut in a programme of Brahms, Ravel and Dutilleux, with whose work he has a special affinity.
He has also worked extensively in Asia, conducting the Tokyo Symphony regularly and working with the Seoul and Malaysian Philharmonics and Singapore Symphony. He recently returned to Australia with a programme of Russian music with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and conducted a French programme with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth.
Other engagements in 2019 included the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Oslo Philharmonic and a return to the Dresden Staatskapelle. He also made his first tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, directing twelve concerts across Germany alongside soloists Arabella Steinbacher, Sol Gabetta, Jan Lisiecki and Daniel Müller-Schott.
Bringuier regularly collaborates with his friend Yuja Wang, with whom he has recorded the Ravel Piano Concertos for Deutsche Grammophon as part of a complete cycle of the composer’s works. Other recordings include Chopin with Nelson Freire (DGG) and Saint-Saëns with Renaud Capuçon and Gautier Capuçon (Erato) who are also regular partners. He works closely with some of the finest instrumentalists in the world, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Batiashvili, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yefim Bronfman, Emmanuel Ax, Leif Ove Andsnes and Janine Jansen.
On the operatic circuit he recently conducted a new production of Rigoletto at the Royal Swedish Opera and has led performances at The Mariinsky Theatre and the opera house in Valladolid. He looks forward to future productions with Tokyo Nikikai Opera at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan.
Bringuier comes from a family of musicians and studied cello and conducting at the Paris conservatoire, winning the prestigious International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors only a year after graduating.
Bringuier was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French government, and has been lauded with the Médaille d’or à l’unanimité avec les félicitations du jury à l’Académie Prince Rainier III de Monaco and the Médaille d’or from the City of Nice.
“The Tchaikovsky was balanced at the other end of the program by Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2, in an expansive reading by Bringuier. The conductor unspooled Rachmaninov’s long-breathed melodies with an eye for the big picture, carefully building the first movement to the storm of swirling strings and thundering brass and percussion at its climax. The Scherzo, infused with the darkness of the Dies irae chant, sparkled with horns and racing strings, while the slow movement was achingly romantic, Bringuier once again deftly pacing the climaxes, before dispatching a celebratory finale.”
(Limelight Magazine, 2019)
“Lionel Bringuier was a sensitive partner during the concerto and led an invigorated reading by the SSO of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor, with woodwind and horn solos of richly-coloured clarity.”
(The Sydney Morning Herald, 2019)
“With Ravel’s “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales,” Bringuier further flashed his Ravel credentials. The conductor took some of the waltzes at daringly slow tempos that dripped with sensuality while exulting in the swaying swing of the opening waltz. Bringuier had the help of the L.A. Phil’s jazz-minded soloists pouring on the bluesy slurring in Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Three saxophonists were forwardly balanced in the central homesick blues section that gave it a Paul Whiteman-like period sound. Elsewhere, Bringuier made infectiously jaunty work of Gershwin’s fast walks through the French capital.”
(Los Angeles Times, 2019)
“Bringuier took the stage briskly, without fuss, and wearing an immaculately tailored suit and big smile. He plunged immediately into Albert Roussel’s ballet-pantomime “The Spider’s Feast,” drawing from the orchestra a huge palette of dewy, subdued colors, delicately shaded. Bringuier’s gestures on the podium are big but never excessive. He communicated changes of tempo and meter precisely, and the musicians seemed to follow him effortlessly, in the subtlety of his musical imagery and the absolute mastery of his craft, Bringuier’s conducting brings to mind the great Pierre Monteux.”
(The Washington Post, 2019)
“Bringuier, who as a Ravel specialist has repeatedly demonstrated a special flair for shaping tonal color, also knows how to conjure up with Rimsky-Korsakov all the richness of sonority from the dazzling score.”
(Thomas Schacher / Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2018)
“Bringuier does not seek out the message, the great gesture or the originality: he builds, he guides, he directs while knowing how to let the musicians express themselves. He keeps the building upright by attaching itself to the foundations — splendid articulation, powerful and lively string basses — and the colors — winds are alert and free to sing while taking risks, always assumed.”
(Alain Lompech / Bachtrack, 2018)
“If there was a link between the concerto, Dutilleux’s Métaboles and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé Suite No 2, it was in the transparency of the sound achieved under Bringuier, whose debut this was with the LSO. The ecstasies described by Brahms, Dutilleux and Ravel are distinct, and were beautifully individuated by the French conductor.”
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