PRINCIPAL GUEST CONDUCTOR
Ralph and Beth Johnston Muller Chair
Photo: Jeff Fusco
Nathalie Stutzmann began her role as The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor with the 2021–22 season. The three-year contract will involve a regular presence in the Orchestra’s subscription series in Philadelphia and at its summer festivals in Vail, Colorado, and Saratoga Springs, New York. She made her Philadelphia Orchestra conducting debut in 2016. She is also in her first season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony, only the second woman to lead a major American orchestra, and her fifth season as chief conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony in Norway.
Ms. Stutzmann is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time. Charismatic musicianship, combined with unique rigor, energy, and fantasy, characterize her style. A rich variety of strands form the core of her repertoire: Central European and Russian Romanticism is a strong focus—ranging from Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and Dvořák to the larger symphonic forces of Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner, and Strauss—as well as French 19th-century repertoire and Impressionism. Her first season of partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra attracted outstanding accolades from the press with particular praise for her “memorable reading” (Bachtrack) of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony and “terrific ideas” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) in Schubert’s “Great” Symphony.
Highlights as guest conductor in the next seasons include debut performances with the Munich Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, and the Helsinki Philharmonic. She will also return to the London Symphony and the Orchestre de Paris.
Having also established a strong reputation as an opera conductor, Ms. Stutzmann has led celebrated productions of Wagner’s Tannhäuser in Monte Carlo and Boito’s Mefistofele at the Chorégies d’Orange festival in Provence. She begins the 2022–23 season with a new production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at La Monnaie in Brussels and makes her Metropolitan Opera debut this season with two productions: Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni. She also helms Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival in 2023.
Ms. Stutzmann began her studies in piano, bassoon, and cello at a very young age and studied conducting with the legendary Finnish teacher Jorma Panula. She was also mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Simon Rattle.
Also one of today’s most esteemed contraltos, she studied the German repertoire with Hans Hotter. She has made more than 80 recordings and received the most prestigious awards. Her latest album, Contralto, was released in January 2021 and received Scherzo magazine’s “Exceptional” seal, Opera Magazine’s Diamant d’Or, and RTL radio’s Classique d’Or. She is an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato.
Ms. Stutzmann was named Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, and a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by the French government.