“Nathalie is the real thing. So much love, intensity and sheer technique.
We need more conductors like her.”
Sir Simon Rattle, December 2012
The 2018/19 season sees Nathalie Stutzmann begin her tenure as Chief Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Principal Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland since September 2017, Nathalie’s opening season culminated in a “life-affirming” performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Bachtrack). She is also Associate Artist of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra.
Nathalie is considered one of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time, with parallel careers as a world-renowned contralto and as a rising star conductor. Her charismatic musicianship, combined with the unique rigour, energy and fantasy which characterises her style, has been recognised by her peers, audience and critics alike. As a conductor, her core repertoire is focussed around the Romantic era ranging from Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak through to the larger symphonic forces of Mahler, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Wagner as well as French impressionism.
Highlights as a guest conductor in the 2018/19 season include return engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra Washington for a six-concert series. Further ahead, she looks forward to return engagements with the Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and a debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony.
Nathalie Stutzmann is also establishing a strong reputation as an opera conductor. She recently conducted critically acclaimed performances of Boito’s Mefistofele at the 2018 Chorégies d’Orange festival in Provence. This followed an equally noted production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser (2017) at Monte Carlo Opera. Future opera conducting plans include Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride and Tchaikovsky’s Dame de Pique.
Proclaimed “the best contralto in the world” (BR Klassik), Nathalie has spent her career performing with the world’s greatest conductors and orchestras. Particularly acclaimed for her performances of Mahler, Brahms and Schubert, she is also a highly-praised recitalist. Nathalie has performed more than 300 recitals with Swedish pianist Inger Södergren, with whom she has also recorded several song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Poulenc and Chausson, among others. Recitals in recent seasons include performances at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Stockholm Concert Hall, Salle Garnier Monte Carlo, St George’s Hall Liverpool, La Monnaie in Brussels, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, and a Japan tour to celebrate the re-release by Warner/Erato of their earlier recording of the three Schubert song cycles.
Parallel to her concerts as a singer, she devotes most of her singing season to her own chamber orchestra Orfeo 55, created in 2009 and resident at Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier. Nathalie regularly records with Orfeo 55 and is currently an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato as a singer and conductor. Recent recordings include Italian arias with “Quella Fiamma”, for which she was praised by Gramophone as being “one of the great baroque singers of our day”, as well as “Heroes from the Shadows” (Handel) awarded of a Diapason d’Or, “Une Cantate Imaginaire” (Bach), and “Prima Donna” (Vivaldi), all with Orfeo 55. This season they will perform at Philharmonie de Paris, Montpellier Opera, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Nathalie started her studies at a very young age in piano, bassoon, chamber music and conducting. Her vocal training was initially with her mother, the distinguished soprano, Christiane Stutzmann, and later at the Ecole d’Art Lyrique de l’Opéra de Paris focusing on lieder with the great Hans Hotter. She studied conducting with the legendary Finnish teacher Jorma Panula and was mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.
In January 2019 she was admitted into the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (France’s highest honours) at the rank of Chevalier. She is also Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite and Officer of the Arts et Lettres in France.