François-Xavier RothComposer, Conductor
The fact that he became a musician is thanks to his father, who as titular organist at the Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre church in Paris played “everything from Early music, Buxtehude, Pachelbel and Monteverdi to Olivier Messiaen and our contemporaries”. He began studying the flute at the age of nine and became a member of the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris as a teenager before training as a conductor under János Fürst at the Conservatoire de Paris.
Today François-Xavier Roth is one of the most successful conductors of his generation. In Cologne, where he has led both the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Opera since 2015, his programmes are remarkably wide-ranging and include new composition commissions as well as works from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Roth is also principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and associate artist of the Philharmonie de Paris. In 2003, he founded the orchestra Les Siècles, with which he performs contrasting programmes on modern and period instruments. As a guest, Roth works with leading orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker – with whom he debuted in 2015 with works by French composers spanning three centuries – the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also artistic director of the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, with which Les Siècles are now affiliated as resident orchestra. Together with the Festival Berlioz and Les Siècles, he founded the Jeune Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz, a unique orchestral academy with its own collection of period instruments. In addition, he and Les Siècles created [Presto!], a television series for France 2 that reached over three million viewers weekly. François-Xavier Roth was made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and became the youngest conductor ever to receive the Honorary Award of the German Record Critics.