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Principal Conductor, Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne
Principal Conductor, Asian Youth Orchestra
“Joseph Bastian took over the program in a very sovereign way as a conductor, transforming this unexpected debut into an artistic triumph.”
Belgian National Orchestra
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
Orchestre National d’Île de France
Orchestre National du Capitôle de Toulouse
Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya
Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Zürich Opera Studio
Swiftly emerging as one of the most exciting talents of the younger generation, French-Swiss conductor Joseph Bastian is widely celebrated for his “total precision, and calm and masterful manner”, and renowned for the remarkable and tangible sense of partnership he creates with orchestral musicians, and his distinct and highly celebrated skill for building an orchestra’s character from within.
Beginning September 2023, Bastian holds the position of Chief Conductor & Artistic Director of the Munich Symphony Orchestra (Münchner Symphoniker), Germany. In this role, he is particularly passionate about developing the orchestra’s place as the true orchestra of the city and of the people of Munich, devising and implementing ambitious plans across a multitude of fronts: artistic, international, and social.Read More
Since September 2022, Bastian serves as Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne, France, where he is tasked with building the orchestra of the Opéra de Dijon in its first forays as a symphonic orchestra in its own right. He devises and undertakes major inter-disciplinary projects (for instance, examining the links between music and neuroscience), and explores a diverse range of repertoire, programming multiple world premieres alongside major symphonic statements. Recent highlights include the world premiere of Pierre Thilloy’s SAMÂ – la lumiére exilée: an intercultural work that brings together contemporary music, Sufism, and literature.
Also since 2022, Bastian serves as Principal Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra, leading and inspiring this premiere ensemble on major annual tours throughout Europe and Asia. In Asia, the AYO regularly tours through China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, the Philippines, and Taiwan. The orchestra also has an increasing presence in Europe, with regular performances at such major Italian festivals as Bergamo and Ravello, main-stage concerts in Munich, and appearances at the Young Euro Classics series at the Konzerthaus Berlin.
As a guest conductor, Bastian enjoys a particularly strong profile in Germany, with recent and forthcoming highlights including projects with the Bamberger Symphoniker, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Dresdner Philharmonie, DRP Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern, and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, as well as with the radio orchestras of Berlin (DSO & RSB), Frankfurt (hr-Sinfonieorchester), Köln (WDR), Munich (BRSO), and Stuttgart (SWR).
Bastian conducts at a high level in France, working regularly with such orchestras as the Orchestre National d’Île de France, and the Orchestre National du Capitôle de Toulouse. Other recent and forthcoming highlights include projects in Austria (Mozarteumorchester Salzburg), the Baltics (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra), Benelux (Belgian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg), Central Europe (Prague Radio Symphony Orchesta), Japan (Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo), Scandinavia (Aarhus Symfoniorkester, Gävle Symfoniorkester), Spain (Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya), South America (Orquestra Sinfònica do Estado de São Paulo), and Switzerland (Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne).
Bastian holds a particular gift for opera, and in 2022 made his debut at the Zürich Opera Studio, conducting Haydn’s Il mondo della luna at the Theater Winterthur, Switzerland, to widespread critical acclaim. In 2021, he led a highly successful run of Die Bernauerin at the Carl-Orff Festival, Germany, and has also enjoyed work with the Kammeroper München. Bastian is always keen to further his knowledge and skills in the art of conducting, and to that end he recently worked closely with Vladimir Jurowski at the Bayerisches Staatsoper on their production of Penderecki’s Die Teufel von Loudun.
Bastian burst into the international spotlight in February 2016, when he stepped in at the last moment to conduct the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (‘BRSO’) in three subscription concerts – widely heralded by the press as a “sensational debut”. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Neeme Järvi Prize at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival (2016), and Eugene Jochum Prize for Young Conductors by the BRSO (2019).
Born in France to a French-Swiss family, Bastian began his musical journey by studying the cello, trombone, and composition. After studies in trombone at the University of Music Saar, he performed as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez, and the Orchestra of the Academy of the Munich Philharmonic. Thereafter, he held for a time the position of Principal Bass Trombonist with the BRSO, before putting the instrument aside in order to focus fully on his conducting career.
Bastian worked as an Assistant Conductor to the late Mariss Jansons, who helped and supported him significantly in his early conducting studies, as well as to Daniel Harding (BR Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and Academy), and Vladimir Jurowski (London Philharmonic Orchestra). He also received masterclasses and ongoing support from Bernard Haitink, Jorma Panula, and David Zinman, amongst others. Bastian further honed his skills as Chief Conductor of the Abaco-Orchestra of the University of Munich (2011-2018), touring the orchestra to such major European venues as Musikverein Wien.
Alongside the major symphonic repertoire, Bastian is dedicated to championing contemporary works (including the recent world premieres of Fredrik Högberg’s Violin Concerto, and Aziza Sadikova’s Percussion Concerto). He also has a keen interest in historically informed performance practice. During his earlier career as an orchestral musician, Bastian’s expert knowledge of instruments such as the sackbut, serpent, and ophicleide saw him perform not only with the BRSO, but also with other such world-class ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Joseph Bastian lives in Munich with his wife – the soprano, Lydia Teuscher – and their two children.
On 6 January 2024, Principal Conductor Joseph Bastian leads the Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne in...
Chief Conductor & Artistic Director Joseph Bastian leads the Munich Symphony Orchestra in a series...
Joseph Bastian conducts the LJO Saar in Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel, performed in...
“What makes Joseph Bastian a genuine Shostakovich conductor is his ability to charge the often long melodic phrases with meaning; a phenomenon last so heard so intensely from Mariss Jansons.”
“Conductor Joseph Bastian spreads a heavenly calm at the podium. It is phenomenal, how consciously he uses the individual registers in pianissimo and with what foresight he follows Strauss’ harmonic progressions and mood changes.”
“Ingeniously light, mischievous, playful and theatrical, then angular, relentless precision in garish tones – Maestro Joseph Bastian led his large orchestra with a very elegant but sure hand through the difficult and powerful Shostakovich Symphony No.8. Bastian built up the symphony like a monument, with powerful strokes, but also with flowing lines. Every bar glows with intensity, with never-ending tension as Bastian brings the music to the boil – stretching his players to the limits of pain and volume. It is fascinating how Bastian gives the difficult score contour and transparency, and balances the tone between apocalyptic outbursts and abysmal sadness and pain.”
“The best Barcelona Symphony Orchestra concert of the season – Bastian is a rising star to watch. A balanced and fascinating sound – careful use of percussion, the warmth of the strings, and the fineness and brilliance of woodwind and brass ensuring very beautiful moments expressing an imaginative universe. Bastian is a conductor who is both moving and sincere.”
“Bastian successfully strives for the very best on the podium. With his bare hands and elegantly rounded curves, he immediately models Haydn’s D major Symphony No.42 into the most important highlight of the concert…the orchestra shines with a velvety-soft noble sound and enormously plastic contrasts between rich forte and whisper-quiet piano.”