Stéphane Denève was born in Tourcoing, in northern France, in 1971. After graduating from the Paris Conservatoire in 1995, he polished his conducting technique by working as a conducting assistant to Georg Solti, Georges Prêtre and Seiji Ozawa. He served as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart (des SWR). He is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Music Director of the Brussels Philharmonic, a position he assumed in 2015, and which has been extended through the 2022 season. He has been designated as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from the 2019/20 season. He has been closely associated with the Japanese music world, having participated in the Saito Kinen Festival, Matsumoto in 1998 as an assistant to Seiji Ozawa. His first appearance in Japan as a conductor was in 2003 when he conducted the New Japan Philharmonic. He first worked with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2015, conducting a French repertoire, his forte, including Ravel, Lalo and Roussel. He has recorded albums of works by Debussy, Roussel, Ravel and Franck, and he received the Diapason d’Or of the year in 2016 for his album of works of present-day French composer Guillaume Connesson.
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