Guest of the Opera
The Russian-born German conductor, composer and pianist Sergey Neller came to the attention of the classical music world as the 2nd Prize winner of the prestigious 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition hosted by the Bamberg Symphony. He has collaborated with such renowned ensembles as the Bamberg, Berlin and Brandenburg Symphony Orchestras, the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Régional de Cannes, and the Brandenburg State Orchestra of Frankfurt among others, and counts among his mentors such luminary figures as Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jorma Panula, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Simon Rattle and David Zinman, with whom he worked in orchestral masterclasses with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich. He also participated as one of four selected conductors in masterclasses with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Daniele Gatti, and assisted Vladimir Jurowski at Russia’s State Academic Symphony Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov”.
Recent highlights include debuts with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava, and Nürnberger Symphoniker, where Neller directed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major, KV 503from the piano. He also conducted a studio recording session of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra for Bayerischer Rundfunk. In April 2018, Neller made his US debut with the Jacksonville Symphony, where he once again directed from the piano, this time in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major, KV 467. Upcoming highlights include the Ulster Orchestra, a new production of Rodion Shchedrin’s Lolita in Prague, and a concert of Sofia Gubaidulina’s works with ensemble unitedberlin in the Konzerthaus Berlin.
As a gifted composer, from 2002 to 2006 Neller was the recipient of the renowned Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation Award, during which period he composed his first opera, Tintagiles, and premiered it at the Helikon Opera in Moscow (2006). Composed to an original libretto based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s play The Death of Tintagiles, the work attracted the attention of the international press and resonated strongly with Russian audiences. In 2010, Neller completed his second opera, Phaedra, composed to a libretto by the contemporary Russian poet and playwright Alexey Parin. Neller has also enjoyed considerable success as a pianist, having won international competitions in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy and the United States, and given concerts throughout Europe, North America and Australia. He has also made several recordings of works by Chopin, Medtner, Oborin and Scriabin.
Sergey Neller studied composition and piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, and conducting at the Universität der Künste Berlin.