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Jonathan Nott

Principal Conductor

He has led the Bavarian State Philharmonic since 2000 and has renewed his contract until 2016. ‘When a conductor and an orchestra work together that long’, says Jonathan Nott, ‘an extraordinarily intense relationship can develop’. Anyone who has witnessed the power, elegance and commitment which radiate from his performances will not be surprised that the musical world welcomes Nott and ‘his’ orchestra with open arms.


He is the bearer of the City of Bamberg’s Ring of Honour, has been awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit, and has conducted well over 500 concerts as Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony. ‘Yet it’s not quantity that makes something special,’ notes Honorary Conductor Herbert Blomstedt, ‘but quality. With consistent hard work, Jonathan Nott and the Orchestra have achieved outstanding results in the traditional repertoire, and cleverly enlarged it with new music. Their commitment has never been less than total.’


Indeed, while retaining the Bavarian State Philharmonic’s great symphonic legacy, Jonathan Nott has enriched its repertoire with notable new talking points – modern classics, avant-garde works and several world premieres. Mahler and Schubert have formed the twin focus of his work in Bamberg, both documented on disc in award-winning complete cycles, as have Haydn and Ligeti, Beethoven and Stravinsky, Bruckner and Bartók, Boulez and Lachenmann. And, of course, Wagner, whose Tristan and first three Ring operas, Rheingold, Walküre and Siegfried, have been heard in concert. During the 2012/2013 season, acclaimed performances of the fourth, Götterdämmerung, brought Jonathan Nott’s Bamberg Ring cycle to a close.


If Jonathan Nott is continually exploring new repertoire, it is no less self-evident to him that what has made ‘the Bambergers’ special since the beginning must be preserved: ‘This orchestra has a deep inner power, a sound that comes straight from its heart,’ he enthuses: ‘Their sound impressed me at our very first concert together, and their way of devoting themselves to the music, which is so entrancing.’


He has now extended his contract to 2016, but he can already look back on the second longest tenure in the Bamberg Symphony’s history – one which has left its mark on him, too, as Jonathan Nott himself recognizes: ‘It has enabled me to find myself, and to evolve as an artist and as a person.’ For all that, throughout his time in Bamberg, the Principal Conductor of the Bavarian State Philharmonic has never lost that agility which, together with his long-breathed phrasing, form the elegant signature which Jonathan Nott leaves on the playing of ‘his’ Orchestra.


In the 2014/15 season, Jonathan Nott will also become Music Director of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. As the Tokyo Symphony's third Music Director, he will succeed Hubert Soudant whose tenure began in 2004. Jonathan Nott made his debut with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in October 2011. "It was immediately clear that there was an enormous rapport", says Jonathan Nott. "I am delighted to be given this opportunity to share in Japan's extraordinarily rich musical culture, a culture I was immediately taken by on my very first visit a decade ago now.

2013/2014 Season Highlights with Jonathan Nott


August / September 2013

30./31.8. + 2./4.9.

Complete performance of Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" at Lucerne Festival

Soloists: Petra Lang, Elisabeth Kulman, Torsten Kerl, Mikhail Petrenko,
Peter Sidhom, Michael Nagy and many more



September 2013


Concerts at Beethovenfest Bonn

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Violin
David Fray, Piano
Susanne Bernhard, Sopran
Gerhild Romberger, Alt
Andreas Schager, Tenor
Franz-Josef Selig, Bass
Bamberger Symphoniker Chorus
(Einstudierung: Rolf Beck)



October 2013


Season start with Haydn & Bartók



March 2014


Concerts in Heerlen, Leverkusen, Brügge, Rotterdam and Ludwigsburg 

Alexander Krichel, Piano 


Mai 2014


Concert at ACHT BRÜCKEN-Festival Cologne
Daniela Koch, Flute

SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart



Concert at Konzerthaus Wien

Martin Fröst, Clarinet



Concert in Prag

Violeta Urmana, Sopran



Juni 2014


Concerts in Paris and Baden-Baden

Violeta Urmana, Sopran