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Victorien Vanoosten becomes Principal Guest Conductor of the LNSO


This week an important contract was signed at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society (LNPhS) – the French conductor and pianist Victorien Vanoosten became the Principal Guest Conductor of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) for a period of three years. This is the first time in the history of the LNSO that a guest conductor is appointed by bilateral agreement. The Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the LNSO remains unchanged, with Maestro Modestas Pitrėnas at the helm.

“Fantastic” is how the LNSO musicians describe Victorien Vanoosten, the French master of baton. Having already attended several concerts conducted by him at the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society, the audience is in accord with that. The first acquaintance with this conductor took place in 2021, when Mūza Rubackytė invited him to conduct one of the concerts of the 7th Vilnius Piano Festival Parisian Soirées in Vilnius. The immediate affinity with the orchestra was followed by several more symphonic programmes together, of which the opening programme My Heart Opens to Your Voice of the 2023 Vilnius Festival was particularly memorable, and all of this has developed into a permanent collaboration.

According to the three-year cooperation contract, Vanoosten is obliged to prepare five concert programmes with the LNSO per year, as well as to record music. “We are very pleased with this partnership and hope that Maestro Vanoosten, who came to the attention of the international audience in 2018 when he conducted at the Staatsoper Berlin at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim and has since become the assistant of this legendary Maestro, will bring new creative winds to the LNSO’s concert activities, expand the orchestra’s repertoire and interpretative ambit, and contribute to the global promotion of the orchestra’s name,” says Rūta Prusevičienė, Director General of the LNPhS.

The French conductor and pianist Vanoosten boasts an intense and vibrant career. Recent highlights include his debut at the Musikverein in Vienna with his past stage partner the Tonkünstler Orchestra, performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, a new staging of Carmen at the Marseille Opera, and his debut with the Orchestre Métropolitain and soloist Emmanuel Pahud in Montreal. Vanoosten has also conducted concerts at the Paris Philharmonic, the production of Gounod’s opera Reine de Saba at the Opéra de Marseille, as well as a new production of La Traviata in Saint-Etienne and the Brussels Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert series.

As Artistic and Music Director of the Neuchâtel Symphony Ensemble in Switzerland, he has also enjoyed a distinguished international career, conducting major opera houses (Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich, Toulouse), performing with symphony orchestras (Vienna Tonkünstler, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Montreal Philharmonic Orchestra). He has collaborated with renowned artists such as Emmanuel Pahud, Bruce Liù, Lang Lang, the Jussen brothers, Gilles Apap, Patrizia Ciofi, Karine Deshayes, Rolando Villazón and Jane Birkin.

At the Berlin State Opera, Vanoosten conducted Cherubini’s Médée, featuring Sonya Yoncheva in the title role, and Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, directed by Wim Wenders. In 2014, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Marseille Opera and became an associate of Music Director Lawrence Foster. He was invited to conduct Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Opéra National de Paris and has led critically acclaimed performances of French repertoire including operas, ballets and symphonic opuses. His ground-breaking 2021 video production of Sacre du printemps with the Swiss artists collective Supermafia has earned him worldwide attention and become a viral YouTube phenomenon in classical music: .

As a pianist, Vanoosten has performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto, which he also conducted. His first CD as a pianist was released in 2015, featuring his own orchestral transcriptions for piano of orchestral compositions by Debussy, Stravinsky, Duruflé, Saint-Saëns and Ravel. From 2010 to 2015, Vanoosten was Artistic Editor of the French National Television programme La boîte à musique and has repeatedly appeared on Radio France and Radio Classique.

Vanoosten received his musical training at the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied piano with Michel Béroff, as well as conducting. Later on, he honed his conducting skills at the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki. His conducting mentors include Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alain Altinoglu, Leif Segerstam, David Zinman, Peter Eötvös and Pierre Boulez. He won the ADAMI Competition as a conductor in 2016 and has received fellowships from the Société Génerale Mécénat Musical and the Fondation Banque Populaire. He is a recipient of the Order of the French Republic for his services to French culture.

Conductor Victorien Vanoosten’s next performance with the LNSO will take place tomorrow, 7 June, 19.00 at the 28th Vilnius Festival. The Lithuanian National Philharmonic Concert Hall will host the festival’s programme Three Heroes: Wagner, Liszt, Strauss, featuring a solo piano performance by the astonishingly talented Israeli pianist Yoav Levanon.

LNPhS inf.