Irish Member RTÉ has announced that French conductor and contralto Nathalie Stutzmann will become Principal Guest Conductor of the broadcaster's National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
Starting in September 2017, Ms Stutzmann will conduct a minimum of five concerts each season through May 2019. The announcement coincided with her second performance at the head of the ensemble on 13 January, in a programme of Beethoven and Brahms at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Broadcast live by EBU Member RTÉ, the concert is available in MUS under reference SM/17/02/01/03.
Says Aodán Ó Dubhgaill, Head of RTÉ's Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs: "Nathalie first conducted the orchestra in Wagner and Mahler in February 2016. From the outset, it was apparent that an easy and natural chemistry had developed between her and the musicians."
Expressing her pleasure at the appointment, Nathalie Stutzmann added: "I look forward to developing together a bond with our audiences, both live and on the radio and online, in Ireland as well as internationally."
In a recent interview, Ms Stutzmann, who will be the first woman to hold the post in the orchestra's nearly century-long existence, discussed her distinguished parallel careers as a contralto and a conductor. She has garnered praise as a recitalist and also sings regularly with the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors, notably as a soloist for Mahler symphonies and lieder. Described as "the real thing" by Sir Simon Rattle, who was one of her mentors, she studied conducting with Jorma Panula. In 2009, she founded her own chamber orchestra, Orfeo 55, which has released highly acclaimed recordings of Baroque vocal and instrumental music. Her next conducting engagement will be for performances of "Tannhäuser" at the Monte-Carlo Opera, starting on 19 February.
Read the complete interview here.