Born in Saint Petersburg, Semyon Bychkov first gained renown while music director of Michigan’s Grand Rapids Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic. A pupil of Ilya Musin, Mr. Bychkov has served as music director of Orchestre de Paris, principal guest conductor of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic and Maggio Musicale Florence, and chief conductor of the WDR Symphony Cologne and the Dresden Semperoper. He holds the Otto Klemperer Chair of Conducting Studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Gunther Wand Chair at the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In recent seasons he has appeared in Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; the Vienna, Berlin, Munich and Czech philharmonics; the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; the London Symphony Orchestra; and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with whom he appears annually at the BBC Proms. In the United States, Mr. Bychkov is a frequent guest with the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, the Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics. Future seasons include return engagements with each of these orchestras, in addition to performances with the Orchestre National de France, the NDR Symphony Hamburg, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Turin, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome, and his debuts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the European Union Youth Orchestra. Recent and upcoming opera performances include Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and Verdi’s Otello at the Metropolitan Opera, broadcast live in HD to fifty-four countries. Mr. Bychkov has also conducted productions at the Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, Paris Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, La Scala, and Maggio Musicale Florence. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1989.
Semyon Bychkov has made a series of award-winning recordings of works of Mahler, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, and Verdi with the WDR Symphony Cologne. His recording of Wagner’s Lohengrin was winner of BBC Music magazine’s Record of the Year in 2010. He has recorded Richard Strauss’s Elektra, An Alpine Symphony, and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks for the Profil label; Daphne with Renée Fleming for Decca; and Ein Heldenleben and Metamorphosen for Avie. His recordings of the Brahms symphonies and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Symphonic Dances, and The Bells with the WDR Symphony Cologne are also available on DVD on the Arthaus label.