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Michel Tabachnik (Conductor)

Michel Tabachnik, as Music Director of the Brussels Phiharmonic, creates programmes with a traditional symphonic repertoire and XX century compositions, showing that there are no boundaries dividing music of yesterday and music of today.

He studied piano, composition and conducting in Geneva. After his studies, a few great conductors noticed him and gave him very useful opportunities : Pierre Boulez, Herbert von Karajan and Igor Markevitch. He was first Igor Markevitch’s assistant at the Radio Television Orchestra in Madrid, and for four years Pierre Boulez’s assistant, mainly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London. This led him to become closely involved with contemporary music. Close to Stockhausen, Berio, Ligeti, Messiaen, he performed many world Premieres, particularly those of Iannis Xenakis who considered him as his favourite interpreter.

Michel Tabachnik has held the position of Conductor of the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra in Lisbon, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine and the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. His impressive roster of guest conducting includes the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tokyo NHK, Orchestre de Paris, and festivals such as Lucerne, Salzburg, Aix en Provence.

After his six years experience as Noord Nederlands Orkest’s Chief Conductor , he has become conductor emeritus. Since September 2008, Michel Tabachnik has been Music Director of the Brussels Phiharmonic and he has been invited at the Cité de la Musique in Paris (three concert per year) and in tournée in Berlin, London, Wien, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Germany and the Far East.

In addition to his numerous concerts with the Brussels Philharmonic, Michel Tabachnik has conducted the last two seasons other orchestras including the SWR Stuttgart, the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, the orchestra of La Fenice in Venice, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Konzerhaus Berlin or the Hamburg NDR.

In the operatic field Michel Tabachnik has conducted in the opera houses of Paris, Geneva, Zürich, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome, Montreal, Genova, Bolshoi Theater. He was a regular guest with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, where he conducted Lohengrin, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, The Rake’s Progress.

Michel Tabachnik has conducted several international youth orchestras. He was Artistic Director of l’Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec for twelve years (1985-1989) and he found in 1984 the Orchestre des Jeunes de Méditerrannée.

As a respected teacher, he has given several Master Classes in Hilversum, Lisbon (the Gulbenkian Foundation), Paris, Brussels and Stockholm conservatories. He has held the position of Professor of Conducting at both University of Toronto and the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen.

His discography (Erato and Lyrinx) reflects the versatility of his repertoire, which ranges from Beethoven to Honegger, from Wagner to Xenakis. The Romand Swiss Radio’s international jury elected his recording of Schumann’s Piano Concerto (with Catherine Collard)“best performance of this work”. It is now enriched by the recordings with the Brussels Philharmonic label, especially with Sacre du Printemps, rewarded during the Gramophone Awards 2013 and his interpretation of La Mer by Debussy, ranked No. 1 by the magazine Classica.

As a composer, Michel Tabachnik has recently conducted several works he orchestrated, including Lumières fossiles, in Netherlands, Prélude à la légende at the Besançon Festival, Concert for violin with the Brussels Philharmonic and in October 2014 the première of Le livre de Job at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. The première of his last opera, La dernière nuit de Walter Benjamin, with a libretto by Régis Debray, which has been commissioned by the Opera de Lyon will take place in February 2016 in Lyon.

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