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THE SCOOP | Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin Receives Honorary Fellowship From Royal Conservatory

By Anya Wassenberg on April 19, 2024

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin receives an Honorary Fellow FRCMT from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Photo: courtesy of The Royal Conservatory/Lisa Sakulensky)
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin receives an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Photo: courtesy of The Royal Conservatory/Lisa Sakulensky)

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been inducted as an Honorary Fellow (FRCMT) of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the highest designation conferred by the organization.

The Canadian Maestro received the honour after leading The Philadelphia Orchestra to a sold out house at their Koerner Hall debut. The concert, which included Florence Price’s Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 was programmed as part of the RCM’s Conservatory’s International Orchestra Series.

“It is an honour to be recognized in my home country by The Royal Conservatory of Music, a renowned institution that has had a transformative influence on music education in Canada,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in a statement.

“This fellowship is also meaningful to me because my mother and father devoted their lives to higher education. As a Fellow, I feel even more connected to my family and to their vocations.”

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra at Koerner Hall, Toronto (Photo: Lisa Sakulensky)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra at Koerner Hall, Toronto (Photo: Lisa Sakulensky/Courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra)

Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin

The Montréal native began his studies at the city’s Conservatory of Music, taking on piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music. Yannick continued his studies at Westminster Choir College, and with conductor Carlo Maria Giulini.

The Fellowship will add to a long list of honours and recognition, including an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada, Companion to the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec, an Officer of the Order of Montreal, an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year; and eight honorary doctorates.

Yannick is in his 12th season with The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he is Music and Artistic Director, and recently served as conducting consultant for the Bradley Cooper film Maestro about  Leonard Bernstein.

That’s not all of his responsibilities,

  • Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Montréal’s Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000;
  • Principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2008 to 2014;
  • Music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 2008 to 2018 (he is now honorary conductor);
  • Named an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 2017;
  • Third Music Director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera since 2018.

He is under an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, and has released 13 recordings with The Philadelphia Orchestra, including Florence Price Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3, which won a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2022.

“Honorary Fellowships are conferred upon individuals who have had a profound impact on society through music and the arts. Yannick’s extraordinary and wide ranging musical activities inspire millions of people throughout the world and bring the great beauty and meaning of our art form into their lives. Yannick’s work extends also into music education and his work with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra remains a memorable experience for the students who had the privilege of participating in that exciting musical journey,” remarked Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music.

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