Special Reports

Where Are They Now?
Conductor Lionel Bringuier

June 5, 2018 | By John Fleming

New Artist of the Month: April 2009

When Lionel Bringuier arrived at the Los Angeles Philharmonic as assistant conductor, it was an exciting time for the orchestra. Walt Disney Concert Hall had opened just a few years earlier and, at 20, he was the youngest person to conduct in the dazzling new hall. First trained as a cellist, Bringuier, a Besançon Young Conductors Competition winner, cultivated his podium technique under the mentorship of Music Directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel, rising to resident conductor before he left in 2013. 

“I learned so much working with the two of them,” Bringuier said. “It is like a family there, and the level of work is so amazing. It was really the best thing that could have happened to me.” Small wonder that he returns regularly as a podium guest.

At 27, the French-born Bringuier became music director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich. His opening concert in 2014 featured the premiere of Salonen’s Karawane, Yuja Wang in the Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto, and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

That appointment was hailed for putting the venerable Swiss orchestra in the hands of a youthful maestro, and during Bringuier’s tenure he released a much-praised four-CD set of Ravel’s orchestral works, including the two piano concertos with Wang as soloist, for Deutsche Grammophon. He’ll leave at the end of the current season, pursuing a whirlwind of guest engagements that include the major orchestras of Chicago, London, Leipzig, Montreal, and Lyon. But Los Angeles will always remain a favorite.

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