The Kennedy Center

Stéphane Denève

Video and Audio

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    Associate Conductor Emil de Cou discusses the highlights of the Sept. 11-12 program.

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    Understanding the Music: Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

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    Understanding the Music: Verdi - Requiem


Stéphane Denève, now recognized internationally as a conductor of the highest calibre, is currently in his fourth season as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.  He gave his inaugural concert as Music Director on 29th September 2005 and has since won unanimous praise from audiences and critics alike for his performances and programming.  He has conducted the RSNO at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Présences in Paris and at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and together they were awarded the prestigious Diapason d'Or de l'année in 2007 for the first in their series of recordings of the works of Albert Roussel for Naxos.  The second disc in the series was released in 2008 to widespread critical acclaim.

A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire where he was awarded a unanimous First Prize in 1995, Stéphane Denève began his career as Sir Georg Solti’s assistant for Bluebeard’s Castle with the Orchestre de Paris (1995) and Don Giovanni at the Paris National Opera (1996). He also assisted Georges Prêtre for Turandot at the Paris National Opera (1997) and Seiji Ozawa for Dialogues des Carmélites at the Saito Kinen Festival (1998).

Very much at home in a broad range of repertoire and a champion of new music, Stéphane Denève has a particular affinity with the music of his native France, and has conducted works by Grétry, Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Roussel, Fauré, and Poulenc.  In recent years he has also given world première performances of works by the contemporary French composer Guillaume Connesson.

As a guest conductor, Stéphane Denève has appeared with the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Philharmonia Orchestra, Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Verdi Orchestra Milan.  In North America, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Indianapolis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras.   In the summers of 2006 and 2007 he conducted the Russian National Orchestra at the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley and the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy.

Stéphane Denève enjoys close relationships with many of the world’s leading solo artists, and has performed with Natalie Dessay, Nina Stemme, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Vogt, Nikolai Lugansky, Emanuel Ax, Nikolaj Znaider,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Repin and Gil Shaham. 

In the field of opera, Stéphane Denève has conducted productions at the Royal Opera House (Così fan tutte), Glyndebourne Festival (Carmen), Netherlands Opera (L’ amour des trois oranges), La Monnaie (La traviata; La voix humaine), Opéra National de Paris (Don Quichotte; La bohème; Le nozze di Figaro), the Teatro Comunale Bologna (Béatrice et Bénédict), and Cincinnati Opera (Erwartung; Carmen; Bluebeard’s Castle).

Upcoming highlights in 2009/10 include debuts with SWR Stuttgart, Danish Radio, and the Barcelona Symphony.  Stéphane Denève will also return to Stockholm Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia. In North America, he will return to the Philadelphia Orchestra, and also guest conduct the Cincinnati, Toronto, Dallas and St. Louis Orchestras.

June 22, 2009
Photo of Stephane Deneve