December 30, 2019

Bamberg Symphony, Schweinfurt Theater

“Nathalie Stutzmann succeeded in the perfect fusion of poetic and emotional moments with striking, highly eruptive passages. So much power and sensitive elegance, so much internalization of the work and creative sovereignty emanated from her!
The “Bambergers” made music as if guided by invisible energy beams, bundled in the fixed point of the conductor’s desk (…)
In the second movement [Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9], the conductor invited the wind soloists to make exuberant music, shining and smooth here! With the baton out of her hand, Stutzmann was able to devote herself to the shaping of melancholy mellifluousness and shadowy atmosphere in the Adagio molto e cantabile. And here, too, it was good to hear that a very special spirit reigned in the orchestra, a shared vibration, a listening to one another, a perfect creative unity and harmony. (…)
The finale summed up the entire evening, it swept along, gripped and touched. An anticipated New Year’s Eve firework display, colourful and with goose bumps! Nobody could escape the passion, the magic and the spell of this performance – resulting in a standing ovation.”
Main Post

October 31, 2019

Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Benaroya Hall

“Her clarity of gesture, her careful cueing and close communication with the players, all contribute to a clear vision of the music and an ability to make her interpretation happen. The Brahms performance had lots of expressive details and dynamic contrasts, as well as the surging romanticism that infuses this score. Many principal players rose to the occasion with beautiful and compelling solo work.”
The Seattle Times

October 25, 2019

The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Verizon Hall

“She “plays” the orchestra as a piano — which is to say, she manipulates variances in tempo to such a fine degree of control that it is as if she were acting with the single-minded will of a pianist. (…)
This level of attention led to revelations, not to mention drama. In Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, the dynamic changes were big, the tempo changes frequent. But the choices were anything but random. Phrases were shaped in the service of the underlying emotional intent — the singer in her. (…)
I loved the way Stutzmann gave gestures and melodies in the last movement an inevitable drive toward the very last note. (…)
A striking account of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (“Fingal’s Cave”) opened the concert. As in the Brahms, Stutzmann paid close attention to such matters as dynamics, phrasing, and the exact length of notes. There was great specificity in the vision she conjured, and while I’m not sure exactly what aspect of the Scottish cave she was evoking with a crescendo that grew to terrifying heights, the sense of awe was unmistakable.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

August 7, 2019

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Proms London Royal Albert Hall

“Yet the conductor who vigorously steered this evening of luxurious period drama, Nathalie Stutzmann, would have made news even a decade ago. Some overdue revolutions soon become almost unnoticeable. (…) She led a trio of works [Brahms’ Tragic Overture, Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde and Mozart’s Requiem] that painted the Royal Albert Hall in ever-deeper layers of heroic grief and epic sorrow. It built into an emotional blow-out, or grande bouffe, in which the individual ingredients never lost their flavour or the chef her tight control. (…)
Stutzmann coaxed some fine, forest-dark sonorities from the all-important lower woodwinds (such as Lenny Sayers’s bass clarinet), and the Prelude crested and broke with a jolting force. As for the Liebestod, it lacked for nothing in swelling intensity, and Stutzmann throughout emphasised the drama rather than the languor as we rose inexorably towards its peaks. The cellos, led by Alice Neary, purred, glowed and pounced. After the earth duly moved, Stutzmann rightly stretched out the enraptured silence for the span of a long sigh. An old-fashioned spell of bliss, perhaps, but still an utter treat. (…)
Let’s hope she returns soon.”

“Nathalie Stutzmann really is an impressive conductor. The sheer elegance she brings to her formidable technique, the effortless drive towards making much of the music she conducts sound so passionate and the ability to shock us into hearing something quite new in music we think we know is really rather refreshing.”
Opera Today

June 18, 2019

National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Kennedy Center

“[Nathalie Stutzmann] simply embodied the music. Her body swayed with the rhythm and grace of a dance, her expression rose and fell with the changing moods of the pieces, and her sharp breaths punctuated her conducting almost like another instrument. Indeed, a Stutzmann concert is worth seeing from a periphery seat; watching the conductor’s face and hands is almost as inspiring as listening to the music itself.
What made the NSO’s presentation of Mozart so memorable was not just its display of technical expertise (which it had), but its spirit of generosity. Each piece was performed not in a pompous or ostentatious manner, which would have been enough to impress but not to inspire. Stutzmann’s passion for conducting and for the music burst forth as she engaged with the orchestra, and the musicians responded in kind. It made for an experience in which the music was not just produced but given. It was Mozart at his best.”
The New Criterion

March 9-10, 2019

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Powell Hall

“Inhabiting the score completely, Stutzmann stayed with her singers throughout; the phrasing was ideal, as was the balance between orchestral and choral musicians. Stutzmann is intense, clear and easy to follow; she understands every measure of this piece [Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem].”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch