About: biography


Maxime Tortelier is an exciting talent emerging on to the international conducting scene, having made his mark as the Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for two years until September 2014. With this orchestra he appeared regularly in concerts across the South and South West of England, and was reviewed as “outstanding” and “charismatic”.

Maxime’s successful conducting debuts include engagements with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, the Opéra-Orchestre National de Montpellier and Ulster Orchestra. His debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014 led to a re-invitation to the orchestra, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in 2015. He has appeared regularly with the Orchestre National de France, which he first conducted in 2014. Highlights of 2016/2017 include a debut with London’s Southbank Sinfonia and a residency with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

He made his conducting debut in 2009 with the Sofia Festival Orchestra at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. In 2012 he was semi-finalist in the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and was singled out as the “outstanding participant” of a masterclass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop. During other courses and masterclasses he conducted the Royal Scottish National, Tasmanian Symphony and BBC Concert orchestras, working with David Zinman and Martyn Brabbins among others.

While in Colin Metters’s conducting class at the Royal Academy of Music, Maxime worked with the Academy’s many different ensembles and singers, under the additional guidance of such figures as George Hurst and Leif Segerstam. He also rehearsed the Academy’s orchestras in preparation for performances by Sir Simon Rattle and the late Sir Colin Davis. His MA at the Academy was generously supported by the Gordon Foundation.

Born into a musical family, Maxime studied the piano from the age of five. Before picking up the baton, he graduated in literature and languages at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon and was Teaching Assistant at Harvard University. He taught musicology in Paris at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales after completing his MPhil there, and studied theory and composition at the Paris Conservatoire where he received several first prizes.

Maxime is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.

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maxime tortelier portrait photo
credit: Chris Zuidik