About: biography


Maxime Tortelier is an exciting talent emerging onto 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”.

Since then, Maxime has enjoyed invitations with other leading British ensembles, among which the Ulster Orchestra; the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which led to an immediate re-invitation, at the BBC Proms; and presently the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. A Londoner at heart, Maxime now lives in Paris where he has appeared regularly with the Orchestre National de France. Other engagements in France include the Orchestre de Bretagne, Orchestre de Normandie and Orchestre de Poitou-Charentes. The Operas of Montpellier, Toulon and Saint-Etienne have also invited him for symphony concerts. Elsewhere, he has made debuts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, and will soon make his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.

Ever eager to share his passion for music with the next generation of concertgoers and instrumentalists, Maxime frequently works with youngsters: besides numerous children’s concerts, he has had residencies with the South West Youth Orchestra (2013-2014) as well as the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (2017). He has had a successful debut with the young professionals of the Lausanne Sinfonietta and enjoys regular invitations with the Southbank Sinfonia with whom he has built a warm relationship. In France, he has just been appointed conductor of the Démos – Lyon Métropole orchestra, in partnership with the Orchestre National de Lyon. Démos is a nationwide music education project.

Maxime’s first steps on the rostrum were in 2009 with the Sofia Festival Orchestra, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. Back then he was in Colin Metters’s conducting class at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received the additional guidance of such figures as George Hurst and Leif Segerstam. His MA at the Academy was generously supported by the Gordon Foundation. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition and was singled out as the “outstanding participant” of a masterclass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.

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