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Julian Rachlin Appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Northern Sinfonia

Posted on 13 November 2014

Royal Northern Sinfonia completes its artistic team with the appointment of Julian Rachlin as its new Principal Guest Conductor, beginning in 2015/16. The announcement comes in advance of their performance at Milton Court, London. Well-known as one of the world’s finest violinists, Julian Rachlin is the latest creative appointment by Royal Northern Sinfonia, an ensemble that has garnered the reputation of being an instrumentalist’s orchestra.

Rachlin has always been a very special musician, one whose virtuosity is matched by a searching intellect – he is a ‘thinking musician’ as well as an instinctive one, qualities that every conductor needs. He brings his talents to many leading orchestras, among them, the London Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony. When making his conducting debut with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in October 2013, there was an immediate connection between Rachlin and the players. This appointment, just over a year later, is a reflection of that rare chemistry. Anthony Sargent, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead comments:

“Julian Rachlin is widely admired as one of the most exciting young musicians of his generation – we are very happy that he has agreed to join us as Principal Guest Conductor. Especially in these weeks running up to our 10th Birthday celebrations, this new relationship, alongside Lars Vogt as our inspirational Music Director Designate, holds enormous potential for Sage Gateshead’s second decade and for the musicians of Royal Northern Sinfonia”

Lithuanian –born, Rachlin has been based in Vienna for most of his life. Aged 14, he was the youngest-ever soloist to perform with the Vienna Philharmonic. As a soloist he has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, and Zubin Mehta. As a conductor he has led, among others, the Czech Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Julian Rachlin comments:

“I am thrilled to be working so closely with such a dynamic orchestra. Following our first performance together last year, I was astounded by the musical response from the orchestra and felt there was a great connection. I can’t wait to see what exciting opportunities and projects lie ahead!”

Rachlin’s appointment follows that of Lars Vogt, who joins Royal Northern Sinfonia as Music Director for its 2015/16 season. Vogt comments:

“I am delighted that Julian Rachlin is going to be Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Northern Sinfonia! I know him as an immense creative force, with incredible insight, and deep emotional connection with any music he touches. His sense of experiment, colour and freedom makes his interpretations so wonderfully unpredictable and exciting – exactly the qualities that our orchestra relishes. Welcome, Julian!”

They both follow in the footsteps of Conductor Laureate Thomas Zehetmair, whose ten year tenure came to an end in May earlier this year.


Notes to Editors

From Player to Podium: Julian Rachlin

Milton Court, Barbican | Friday 14 November 7.30pm
Julian Rachlin conductor / violin
Royal Northern Sinfonia

SCHNITTKE Sonata No.1 for violin and chamber orchestra
MOZART Violin Concerto No.5 ‘Turkish’
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.7

JULIAN RACHLIN conductor/violin

For the last 25 years, Julian Rachlin has been captivating audiences with his superb musicianship and interpretations as one of the world’s leading violinists and violists, with close ties to the most prestigious orchestras and conductors.

Born in Lithuania in 1974, Julian immigrated to Vienna in 1978. He studied with the eminent pedagogue Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatory, and gained international acclaim overnight in 1988 by winning the “Young Musician of the Year” Award at the Eurovision Competition in Amsterdam. He then became the youngest soloist ever to play with the Vienna Philharmonic, making his debut under Riccardo Muti.

Julian Rachlin has been recognized as a young philanthropist for his charity work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and for his educational outreach. Since September 1999, he has been on the faculty at the Konservatorium Wien University.

As part of his 2014/15 residency in Vienna’s Musikverein, Julian Rachlin opened the season with the Munich Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov to great acclaim, and will go on to conduct the English Chamber Orchestra and appear in trio with Mischa Maisky and Daniil Trifonov. This same season, he tours Europe with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly, and performs with each the China Philharmonic, Shanghai and Guangzhou symphonies under the baton of Long Yu. Further highlights include concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Yuri Temirkanov, and the Orchestre National de France with Daniele Gatti.

This season, Mr. Rachlin conducts the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Moscow Virtuosi, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and Dublin’s RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. These concerts follow recent Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra conducting debuts.

Sophie Rachlin is accredited as a most influential mentor in Mr. Rachlin’s emerging conducting career, and he has an anchor of support from conductors Daniele Gatti, Mariss Jansons and Zubin Mehta, amongst others.

Other recent engagements as soloist include those with the Munich Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel, London Philharmonic and Andrey Boreyko, Teatro Reggio di Torino and Gianandrea Noseda, Bavarian State Orchestra with each Zubin Mehta and Kirill Petrenko, Boston Symphony and Alan Gilbert, and Toronto Symphony with Juanjo Mena.

In 2012, the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Double Concerto was performed by Julian Rachlin and Janine Jansen at the Musikverein, along with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Mariss Jansons. Commissioned by the Musikverein, Mo. Penderecki dedicated the Concerto Doppio to Mr. Rachlin.

His discography can be found with Sony Classical, Warner Classics and Deutsche Grammophon.

Julian Rachlin plays the 1704 “ex Liebig” Stradivari, on loan to him courtesy of the Dkfm. Angelika Prokopp Privatstiftung.

Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra and the leading professional orchestra in the North East. Since its inception in 1958, it has built a distinctive reputation as a fresh-thinking and versatile orchestra, performing with a trademark zest and stylistic virtuosity. It is the only UK orchestra to have a purpose-built home for all its rehearsals, concerts and recordings, with acoustics rated by Lorin Maazel as ‘in the top five best halls in the world’.

Playing a wide repertoire of thrilling, diverse orchestral music, RNS works regularly with a roster of globally renowned artists from all genres. In recent years, these have included Sir Mark Elder, Pierre Laurent-Aimard, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Ian Bostridge, as well as leading popular voices such as Sting, The Pet Shop Boys and Efterklang. The orchestra also contributes to the continuing re-invention of orchestral repertoire with regular commissions and premieres, most recently from Benedict Mason and David Lang, John Casken and Kathryn Tickell.

Open in its approach and broad in its reach, Royal Northern Sinfonia engages audiences and communities throughout its own region as well as further afield, with residencies at festivals from Aldeburgh to Hong Kong, as well as regularly featuring in the BBC Proms and neighbouring Edinburgh Festival. Back home at Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia works with adults of all ages and young people, through the Young Musicians programme and In Harmony project both of which provide unbeatable instrumental learning opportunities.

In September 2014, Royal Northern Sinfonia welcomed Lars Vogt as Music Director Designate, taking up the Music Director post from September 2015. Lars Vogt is an artist whose virtuosity and commitment to communicating the deepest values of orchestral music knows no bounds. He follows in the foot-steps of Conductor Laureate, Thomas Zehetmair, whose twelve year tenure has had a profound impact on the orchestra’s style, with his maxim always to perform “as if the ink was still wet on the page.”

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