Jonathan Nott has been named the new Music and Artistic Director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. The Geneva-based ensemble announced the appointment after an overwhelming majority vote by the musicians of the OSR and the board. He will take up his new role at the start of the 2016-17 season.
The British-born conductor is currently Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (a role he has held since 2000). He is also Music Director of the Tokyo SO as well as Principal Conductor of, and Artistic Advisor to, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.
The Suisse Romande Orchestra was headed for nearly half a century by Ernest Ansermet who honed the ensemble and, through his recordings for Decca, put the orchestra on the musical map. Nott joins an impressive line-up of conductors who have headed the OSR in recent decades: Wolfgang Sawallisch (1970-80), Horst Stein (1980-85), Armin Jordan (1985-97), Fabio Luisi (1997-2002), Pinchas Steinberg (2002-05), Marek Janowski (2005-12) and Neeme Järvi (2012-15). For the current, 2015-16, season, when the orchestra will be without a music director, the concerts will be led by some of the conductors of the younger generation.
Nott first conducted the OSR last year, with performances of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony – both of which attracted considerable critical and public acclaim. Florence Notter, President of the Board of the OSR, commented ‘His thorough approach to the score, close work with the musicians and deep desire to dedicate himself to an orchestra in the long term will give new impetus to our orchestra, on the verge of its Centenary '.
With his Bamberg SO, Nott has recorded the complete Mahler symphonies for Tudor – three installments of which (Nos 1, 3 and 7) secured a Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice accolade. Our review of the Seventh Symphony suggested that ‘We've come to expect certain qualities from this Bamberg/Nott Mahler cycle – not least real stylistic awareness and exceptional attention to detail – and this beautifully prepared and acutely well-heard Seventh is no exception. Perhaps Nott's most notable achievement here lies in uncovering beauty and fascination and a certain sensuousness beneath the often strange and misshapen... One to hear – and superbly engineered, too’.