There is tremendous excitement at the announcement by the Sydney Symphony that American conductor David Robertson will be its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director from 2014 succeeding the much loved Vladimir Ashkenazy.
David Robertson has a string of impressive orchestral appointments to his name having been Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony since 2005 and Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2005. He has also worked with the Orchestre National de Lyon where he was Music Director from 2000 to 2004, Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris where he was Music Director from 1992 to 2000 and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra where he was Resident Conductor from 1985 to 1987.
Robertson was born in Santa Monica, USA in 1958 and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Mentored by Pierre Boulez, he first conducted the Sydney Symphony in 2003. He conducts them again in several concerts through June and July.
In March 2012 he conducted the St Louis Symphony in it season at Carnegie Hall. The programme described as ‘inventive’ rather than ‘showy’ included music by Debussy, Stravinsky and a work Kaija Saariaho written for soprano Karita Mattila. It continued: “…over all Mr. Robertson presided over calmly reasoned, artful readings that were more about subtlety than display”.
David Robertson is married to pianist Orli Shaham, sister of violinist Gil Shaham.
The Sydney Symphony announcement:
Coverage by The Sydney Morning Herald:
…and The Australian:
The New York Times reviews David Robertson’s March 2012 season with the St Louis Symphony at Carnegie Hall: