Chief Conductor: BBC Singers Music Director: la Maîtrise de Radio France
Renowned for her beautifully clear and succinct technique, and with a formidable repertoire knowledge and understanding across all genres, Swedish-born Sofi Jeannin has established herself as one of the finest and most respected choral specialists around today. Currently Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers and Music Director of la Maîtrise de Radio France, Jeannin was previously Music Director of the Choeur de Radio France from 2015 to 2018.
Alongside her work with the BBC Singers and the Maîtrise de Radio France, Jeannin has a busy and fulfilling guest conducting career. In the 2023/24 season, Jeannin notably conducts Handel’s Messiahwith Britten Sinfonia, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Dunedin Consort and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater with BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In April 2024, Jeannin participates in the choral music festival Tokyo Cantat, the first time it will be held in full in the last four years. She also works on a production of Unsuk Chin’s terrifying operatic take on Alice in Wonderland together with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Choir. Jeannin continues to build her relationship with renowned vocal ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen, with three visits in the season.
Other recent engagement highlights include appearances with orchestras such as the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, conducting repertoire such as Haydn’s The Seasons, Poulenc’s Gloria, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah. Choral project highlights include appearances with Swedish Radio Chorus, Coro Casa da Musica, DR VokalEnsemblet, Chamber Choir Ireland and NFM Choir Wroclaw.
Recent highlights with the BBC Singers include appearances at the BBC Proms, with world premieres by Shiva Feshareki and Nico Muhly in 2021; a collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music and South Asian dance company Akademi exploring the dances of Rameau with classical and contemporary Indian dance; Poulenc’s iconic choral work Figure Humaine with jazz interpolations from BBC New Generation Artist Misha Mullov Abado, and Fauré’s Requiem alongside music by Bach, Isabella Leonarda and Reena Esmail at Milton Court Concert Hall in London. Jeannin also continues her collaboration with South African cellist and vocalist Abel Selacoe, forging new cultural bridges and introducing audiences to truly unique combinations and sounds.
Jeannin’s post of Music Director of la Maîtrise de Radio France – the choir famously favoured by Messiaen and Dutilleux – allows her to have the musical and pedagogical responsibility of 180 choristers. During her time with la Maîtrise, Jeannin has commissioned many new works, collaborating with composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Peter Eötvös, John Adams and Thierry Escaich, and has given regular broadcasts on France Musique. She has conducted regularly at the St Denis Festival, including repertoire such as Messiaen Trois petites liturgies, Mozart Vespers and the Sinfonia Concertante with Renaud Capuçon and Adrien La Marca.
Committed to education and outreach work, Jeannin has worked with the chorus and orchestra of Kinshasa, Congo, and has also been involved in El Sistema, Greece since early 2017. She regularly gives workshops and masterclasses around the world.
Jeannin studied conducting and singing at the Stockholm Royal College of Music, the Nice Conservatoire and then at the Royal College of Music, London, with Paul Spicer. She conducted her first BBC Radio 3 broadcast, the British premiere of Consolation I by Helmut Lachenmann, in 2006, and prepared the Royal College of Music Chorus for conductors including Bernard Haitink, Peter Schreier and David Willcocks.
“Jeannin ensured Stravinsky’s tight rhythmic precision and the ritualistic solemnity of the final chorale section” ★★★★★