Jonathan Schiffman



Jonathan Schiffman’s imaginative, fresh and contemporary approach to repertoire and programming has captured the interest of both orchestras and audiences throughout Europe and the US. Informed by his background as a composer, Schiffman draws on a strong interest in contemporary music as well as a wide core repertoire to produce programmes which are both unique and appealing. His open enthusiasm and charismatic approach towards conducting have earned him the respect and admiration of many strong supporters.

After two seasons as assistant to Kurt Masur at the Orchestra National de France and Ivan Fischer at the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Schiffman held the position of Music Director with the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon-Provence from 2007-2010, during which time audience subscriptions doubled. In February 2006, Schiffman made his subscription concert debut with the Orchestre National de France which resulted in a 2008 reengagement as well as debuts with the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire.

In recent seasons, Schiffman has made a number of notable debuts including with the Orchestre de Paris, Northern Sinfonia, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Scottish Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin, Het Gelders Orkest, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre d’Auvergne, Helsingborg Symphony and the Norrlands Opera Orchestra.

Future engagements include debuts with the BBC Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic, St Gallen Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Slovenian Philharmonic, Orchestre de Bretagne and return engagements with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Opéra National de Lorraine.

Born and raised in New York City, Schiffman began studying cello at age five. Piano and composition studies followed shortly afterwards. Upon graduating with honours from Yale where he was Music Director of the Yale Bach Society Orchestra & Chorus, Schiffman attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival as a conducting fellow. He subsequently received a master’s degree from Juilliard, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. In 2001, Schiffman made his professional conducting debut with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. His success there led to several return engagements as well as concerts with the National Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and Richmond Symphony orchestras. Schiffman moved to Paris in 2003 to study composition with Narcis Bonet as a Fulbright scholar.

An active composer himself, Schiffman has a particularly close affinity to new music. He has conducted premieres by a number of prominent composers including a European premiere of Wolfgang Rihm Dritter Doppelgesang with the Orchestre National de France. He also conducted the world premiere performance of Stravinsky's last work, entitled, Four Preludes and Fugues transcribed from The Well-Tempered Clavier.