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Artist Hyperion Records
Roth, François-Xavier (conductor)
© Marco Borggreve

François-Xavier Roth (conductor)

François-Xavier Roth, born in Paris in November 1971, is one of the most charismatic and enterprising conductors of his generation. He is General Music Director of the City of Cologne, leading both the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Opera, and Principal Conductor of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg.

His repertoire ranges from music of the seventeenth century to contemporary work and encompasses all genres: symphonic, operatic and chamber. In 2003, he founded the innovative orchestra, Les Siècles, which performs contrasting and colourful programmes on modern and period instruments, often within the same concert. With Les Siècles, he has given concerts in France, Italy, Germany, England and Japan. To mark the centenary of The Rite of Spring, they toured the work on period instruments including performances at the BBC Proms and the Alte Oper, Frankfurt, captured in a widely acclaimed and award-winning recording. They will partner with the Pina Bausch Company for danced performances of the work in Summer 2016.

In its 70th anniversary year, he leads the SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg & Baden-Baden in guest visits to London (BBC Proms), Hamburg and the Lucerne and Berlin Festivals. They will complete their cycle of performances and recordings of the symphonic poems of Richard Strauss. With this orchestra he has premiered works by Philippe Manoury, Yann Robin and Georg-Friedrich Haas and collaborated with composers Wolfgang Rihm, Jörg Widmann and Helmut Lachenmann.

With a reputation for enterprising programming, his incisive approach and communication skills are valued around the world. He works with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and Boston Symphony. Over the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons he curates a series, with the London Symphony Orchestra, exploring the musical legacy of the post-Romantic period.

His work in the opera house has included productions of Thomas’ Mignon, Offenbach’s Les Brigands and Delibes’ Lakmé at the Opéra Comique in Paris, Morton Feldman’s Neither at the Berlin Staatsoper and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman with Les Siècles. His first Cologne opera season includes Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini, in a new production by La Fura dels Baus, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Outreach projects are an important aspect of François-Xavier Roth’s work. He is conductor of the ground-breaking LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme and, with the Festival Berlioz and Les Siècles, founded the Jeune Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz, an orchestra-academy with its own collection of period instruments. Roth and Les Siècles devised Presto!, their own television series for France 2, attracting weekly audiences of over three million. In Cologne, he has announced initiatives to take music to new, unconventional venues and initiate collaborations with the City’s cultural institutions.


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