Maxime Tortelier is currently music director of the Orchestre Démos – Lyon Métropole, in partnership with the Orchestre National de Lyon. An exciting talent emerging onto the international conducting scene, he made his mark as the Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Holding the post for two years, he appeared regularly 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 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which led to an immediate re-invitation at the BBC Proms. A Londoner at heart, Maxime now lives in Paris where he has had several collaborations with the Orchestre National de France. Other engagements in France have included the Orchestre de Bretagne, Orchestre de Normandie, Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the Orchestre National de Lyon. The Operas of Montpellier, Toulon, Saint-Etienne and Tours have also invited him for symphony concerts. Elsewhere, he has made debuts with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.
Ever eager to share his passion with the next generation of concertgoers and instrumentalists, Maxime frequently works with youngsters: before his ongoing association with Démos – a nationwide music education project – he held residencies with the South West Youth Orchestra (2013-2014) as well as the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (2017). In London he regularly works with the young professionals of the Southbank Sinfonia with whom he has built a warm relationship. His contributions to their experimental “concertlab” series drew particular attention from critics and audiences alike, most recently FLUX, their most ambitious project yet.
Maxime’s first steps on the rostrum were in 2009 with the Sofia Festival Orchestra, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena where he studied with Gianluigi Gelmetti. 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 David Zinman and Leif Segerstam. 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 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales after completing his MA there, and studied theory and composition at the Paris Conservatoire where he received several prizes.