Jonathan Nott


Chief Conductor:Bamberger Symphoniker
Music Director: Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
Principal Conductor & Artistic Adviser : Junge Deutsche Philharmonie

“Together, I think they’ve created one of the most exciting partnerships in orchestra music of the last 9 years.”   
Tom Service   The Guardian

Jonathan Nott has been Principal Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra since 2000, lifting the Orchestra to a prominence acknowledged by their winning of the Midem Award for the best symphonic recording (of Mahler 9) of 2010.

Nott has regularly toured with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, visiting the USA, South America, China, Japan, the Salzburg Festival and the BBC Proms.   He achieved much acclaim for his five-concert residency at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003, returning there with his Orchestra for the closing two concerts in September 2012.  And in 2013, to celebrate the composer’s bicentenary, he presented concert performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Lucerne Festival, the first time this has ever been performed there.  Future tours include visits to China, Spain, Belgium, Vienna, Prague, Paris and Baden-Baden.

In October 2011 Jonathan made his debut with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and was immediately offered the post of Music Director, which commenced in April 2014.  

Jonathan is an inspiration to young musicians.   In March 2013 he made his debut with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonic and, at the request of the players, was offered the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor which he takes up in the summer of 2014.   His commitment to working with young players extends to his re-engagement with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, with whom he will tour in 2015, and his continuing relationship with the Karlsruhe and Lucerne Music Schools.

Jonathan guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin, Vienna, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Tonhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dresden Stasskapelle, Chicago Symphony and Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony orchestras. During 2014-15, he will return to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, as well as debuts with the Wiener Symphoniker at the Musikverein and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Jonathan studied music at Cambridge University, singing and flute at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and conducting in London.   His career began working at the Frankfurt and Wiesbaden Operas where he conducted all the major operatic repertoire, including a complete Ring Cycle with Siegfried Jerusalem.   During this time he began an enduring collaboration with the Ensemble Modern.   From 1997-2002 he was Chief Conductor of the Luzern Symphony Orchestra and between 2000-2003, Principal Conductor of the Ensemble intercontemporain.

During his tenure in Bamberg, Jonathan has established their artist-in-residence series, resulting in extended collaborations with Vadim Repin, Truls Mork and Pierre-Laurent Aimard and a fruitful partnership with the designer Peter Schmidt.   Jonathan also initiated and presides over their triennial International Mahler Competition whose first prizewinner was Gustavo Dudamel and whose 2013 recipient was the prodigee of Daniel Barenboim, the 24 year old Israeli Lahav Shani.

Nott has a distinguished recording career. Gyorgy Ligeti became one of his mentors and, with the Berlin Philharmonic, Jonathan recorded the composer’s complete orchestral works for Teldec.  Under the Tudor Records label, he has amassed an award-winning discography of works by Mahler, Bruckner, Schubert and Stravinsky recorded with his Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.   In early 2013, Sony released a CD , with Nott and the Orchestra, of Wagner excerpts with Klaus Florian Vogt and in August 2013 Tudor released Mahler Symphonies 6 and 8, the completion of Nott’s acclaimed Mahler cycle.

This biography is updated regularly. Please contact Terry Shew or Tanja Schnitzer for the most recent version and destroy any previously held material.  All editing should be approved by Askonas Holt.

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Teatro Colón, BUENOS AIRES

BEETHOVEN Ouvertüre zu Goethes Trauerspiel »Egmont« op. 84
GERSHWIN Konzert für Klavier F-Dur
BEETHOVEN Symphonie Nr. 6 F-Dur op. 68 »Pastorale«

Piano: Maciej Pikulski
Bamberger Symphoniker

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Bamberger Symphoniker 70th Anniversary Concert

19 March 2016 - The Bamberger Symphoniker celebrates its 70th anniversary with a concert conducted by the orchestra's Chief Conductor, Jonathan Nott.

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The Latest Mahler 3 Recording

Mahler - Symphony No.3 Recording 
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott

In October, Jonathan Nott will celebrate his 500th concert with the Bamberger Symphoniker. Fittingly, he’ll mark the milestone with a performance of Schubert and Mahler. Over the course of their partnership, Bamberg and Nott have developed into a formidable Mahler team, growing in insight with each performance and recording that is released. After a superb 9th last year, Tudor has released a wonderfully cerebral performance of the 3rd. It is a remarkable achievement to instil further unpredictability in this already wide-ranging score; it gives the impression of performing and hearing it totally afresh.

Click here to read the article in full.

Guardian Interview

Jonathan Nott: conducting the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
The British conductor Jonathan Nott brings the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra to Edinburgh. He talks about working in Europe, and his other passion, his Lamborghini.

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Brahms, Haydn & Strauss

Concert: January 2016

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Johannes Moser, Chicago Symphony Centre

“Over the years "A Hero's Life" — an immodest portrait of the artist at 34 — has become a conductor's showpiece and, in lesser hands, an excuse to wallow in vulgar floods of big-orchestra sound. Not with Nott. He put the emphasis on other things: beauty and refinement of sound, nobility of phrasing, the interrelation of themes and ideas. There was real Straussian bravado, to be sure, but also flexible control of long spans and observant detail within those spans. Nott made the score feel urgent and newly considered — no mean feat, given its quasi-warhorse status at the CSO — and the orchestra delivered its sumptuous splendors whole.” John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, January 8 2016
“The English conductor kept skillful balances throughout, even avoiding overkill in the mock-battle scene, while the players powerfully put across the off-kilter alarums and excursions from the expanded brass arsenal. Nott and the orchestra brought an organic flow to the fleeting quotations from Strauss works  (“The Hero’s Works of Peace”), and Scott Hostetler’s Alpine-flavored English horn solo bestowed the right sense of relaxed contentment in the final bars.” Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, January 8 2016


Symphony No.2: 6 April 2015

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Grand Theatre de Provence, Aix en Provence

Réussite totale sur cet événement: standing ovation longue et sonore, taux d’écoute radiophonique élevé et bonheur à tous les niveaux. Epuisement aussi. On ne peut que saluer la puissance d’engagement, tant physique que mentale et affective, de Jonathan Nott. A l’issue d’une heure trente d’intensité musicale ininterrompue, c’est le visage défait mais rayonnant que le chef remerciait une salle transportée.

L’alchimie entre un directeur musical et un orchestre est quelque chose de mystérieux. A la fois fort et fragile. On n’imagine pas que le courant ne puisse pas passer avec Jonathan Nott. Son attitude passionnée, son geste accueillant et stimulant, sa façon de plonger dans le son, l’expressivité de son visage et de ses mains disent tout, entraînent tout. Avec les jeunes musiciens, ces qualités trouvent un écho immédiat. Tous y croient. Tous donnent le maximum. Sans retenue. Sur leur verdeur et leur vitalité inconditionnelle, Nott peut bâtir haut. La cathédrale sortie de scène est construite en pierre de taille. Et de feu.

Près de 250 musiciens sur scène, entre le Chœur régional Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur et les instrumentistes, cela fait du monde. Une montagne sonore sculptée dans la masse. Nott ne plante pourtant pas les bases de l’édifice dans le roc. Il insuffle un courant d’électricité inextinguible, sans partition ni barrière d’estrade. Et convoque les musiciens à un voyage au bout du monde.

Magnifiquement parquetés à la viennoise, avec élégance et douceur, les passages plus paisibles de l’andante luisent délicatement, après les explosions telluriques et rageuses de l’allegro initial. Le Jugendorchester répond au silence près. Dense, compact et fluide. Et avec la soprano Chen Reiss et l’alto Christa Mayer, les sentiments s’épanouissent sur des voix de velours et de chair.

Des cataclysmes aux ivresses, cette «Résurrection» pascale aura puissamment illuminé le festival aixois. Sylvie Bonier, Le Temps


Falstaff: 15 February 2015

Bamberger Symphoniker, Konzerthalle, Bamberg

Jonathan Nott am Pult des reaktionsschnell agierenden Orchesters modelliert die subtil gewirkte Partitur im prägnanten Tonfall. Die konzertante Aufführung fand beim Publikum begeisterten Zuspruch. Genf darf sich auch auf den Operndirigenten Jonathan Nott freuen. Peter Eberts, Der OpernFreund

Mahler & Poulenc

Symphony No.7 & Organ Concerto: 30 October 2014

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House

**** Jonathan Nott and the Sydney Symphony delivered one of most absorbing and engaged live performances I have heard of this notoriously challenging score. Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald


Symphony No.5: 24 October 2014

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Victoria Hall, Geneva

Dès les premières mesures, on est emporté par la musicalité qui se dégage de la direction de Jonathan Nott. Les fameux « Pom ,pom, pom, pom » cessent d’être les quatre coups de canon qu’on entend si souvent. Le chef nous fait entendre quatre accords grandioses magnifiquement reliés entre eux par un diminuendo subtil. Immédiatement, on pressent que Jonathan Nott est en train de nous raconter une histoire en musique. Puis, dans les pianissimo qui suivent l’introduction, le chef britannique conscientise ses sentiments prenant un plaisir immense à faire ressortir tant et tant de petits détails de ces pages pourtant si souvent entendues. La surprise n’a d’égale que l’enchantement que procure la musique de cet étonnant  et talentueux chef.

Dirigeant sans partition, Jonathan Nott se dédie totalement à la cause de sa musique. Favorisant les nuances des volumes sonores, la symphonie la plus populaire de Beethoven prend alors un relief musical inattendu. Réussissant à créer une tension d’écoute incroyable, la gestuelle harmonieuse et efficace de Jonathan Nott subjugue l’auditoire comme elle galvanise l’orchestre.

A force d’énergie, il tire de l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande une émouvante et dynamique interprétation de l’œuvre beethovénienne. Jacques Schmitt, Resmusica

Beethoven & Messiaen

Symphony No.2 & Turangalila Symphony: 29 June 2014

London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre, London

**** Razor-sharp articulation, clarity, and clean, beautifully poised solos characterised this performance [Beethoven]. And a slow movement that seemed composed of one single, long line of breath and thought...Those same qualities of judicious pacing and clarity served Nott and his players well here [Messiaen] too. Wind solos were exquisitely cued, love songs gilded rather than glooped by the ondes martenot, and every element within the steaming cauldron of the Développement de l’amour was set into relief. Hilary Finch, The Times
**** Jonathan Nott and the LSO achieve impressive precision in Messiaen's challenging Turangalîla Symphony...This was Nott's first time with the LSO, and he made the most of it, eliciting an extraordinary finesse and fullness of tone in Beethoven's Second Symphony, which combined impressively with the fast pace and sharply articulated phrasing. Guy Dammann, The Guardian
**** Jonathan Nott and the London Symphony Orchestra delivered an energetic, precise and intense performance of Beethoven and Messiaen – with the latter’s Turangalîla Symphony being an absolute highlight. The London Symphony Orchestra started off with an absolutely solid performance of Beethoven’s Symphony no.2 in D major. The playing was flawless and Jonathan Nott led the orchestra in a measured performance. The third and fourth movements were exciting and energetic – played with precision and passion...In this performance [Turangalîla Symphony] Jonathan Nott and the London Symphony Orchestra convincingly proved that it is an exceptional piece of music...Jonathan Nott was clearly comfortable with the music and the musicians, managing to rein them in when necessarily, but above all spurring them onto greater heights. Renée Reistma, BachTrack
Nott’s rapport with the LSO was undoubted. Richard Whitehouse, ClassicalSource

Richard Strauss


Orchestra del Teatro Petruzelli, Teatro Petruzelli, Bari

Il direttore Jonathan Nott è riuscito a far amalgamare un complesso doppio rispetto all'orchestra stabile del teatro Petruzzelli. Dinko Fabris, La Repubblica
Nella interpretazione di Jonathan Nott, che guidava con ammirevole sicurezza la giovane ed efficiente orchestra del Petruzzelli, si sottolinea l'inesorabile continuità di una urgenza che non concede pause o rallentamenti: la incessante tensione è perseguita con incalzante rapidità, senza lasciare alcuno spazio a indugi. Paolo Petazzi, L'Unita


Symphony No.6

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra

***** One of the most bracing, revelatory Mahler Sixths on disc.
David Nice, BBC Music Magazine


Symphony No.8

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra

Lucky Bamberg. This city, with a population of just 70,000, is home to an orchestra of the highest standing, as the Symphoniker’s visit to the 2013 Proms testified. This reading of the Eighth makes a perfect climax to its Mahler cycle under its Solihull-born conductor, who is surely one of the most underestimated musicians on the planet. The opening movement, that unquestioned affirmation of faith in redemption, is frantically ecstatic and unstoppable in its impetus, while the second (and last) movement’s setting of the final scene of the second part of Goethe’s Faust is beautifully paced. Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times


Ring Cycle: 2013

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Festival

Vor allem aber ist es der "Ring" des Jonathan Nott: Sein Dirigat zeugt von überlegener, reifer Sicht auf die Gesamtstrukturen und erinnert da mitunter an Pierre Boulez. Doch Nott wirkt weniger nüchtern, zugetan allem Sinnlichen und oft so romantisch-schwelgerisch, wie es Georg Solti bei seiner immer noch solitären "Ring"-Einspielung war. Siegfrieds Trauermarsch – ein sinfonisches Ereignis. Nott ist auch bei den Sängern, er führt sie, umsorgt sie wie ein Vater. Alexander Dick, Badische Zeitung
Jonathan Nott hat das alles souverän in der Hand; einfühlsam lässt er den Sängern ihre Zeit, mit allem Sinn für dramatische Verläufe nuanciert er die Tempi. Spannend war das von A bis Z. Bei Jonathan Nott stellt sich die Frage nicht. Der frühere Luzerner Generalmusikdirektor und ausgewiesene Kenner der musikalischen Gegenwart genießt seine Rückkehr an die zentrale Schaltstelle der Oper sichtlich, ein Dirigent, der auch gen Ende eines nicht kurzen "Walküre"-Abends so frisch wirkt, dass ihm noch der kleinste Einsatz wichtig ist. Und der die fehlende Szene durch ein Maximum an orchestraler Farbigkeit und Präsenz zu kompensieren sucht. Im Unterschied zu Kirill Petrenkos aktueller Bayreuther Lesart besticht dieser konzertante "Ring" zur Halbzeit nicht durch kammermusikalische Dezenz und Balance, sondern gerade durch plastischen Naturalismus, in dem das Orchester eine ganz kecke Rolle einnimmt. Besonders spürbar am "Rheingold"-Abend: Wagners Satyrspiel verwandelt Nott vollends in ein drastisches Konversationsstück voller Musik, die Rigorosität der Instrumentation überbetonend.
Peter Hagmann, Neue Zurcher Zeitung

BBC PROMS 2013: 15 July 2013

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

**** Nott's approach to Mahler is free of obvious mannerisms. It's straightforward and unobtrusively detailed, with all the dynamic and textural contrasts, whether on the largest of smallest scale, sharply defined; Nott seemed to deliberately hold the opening funeral march in check so that the impact of the second movement was all the greater. Andrew Clements, The Guardian
**** The orchestra delivered a stunning performance of Mahler's Symphony No.5, layering the work's brighter and darker elements to perfection. Following a blazing trumpet solo, the first movement got the balance between the two exactly right, the sound coming across as both sweeping and stark in nature. The violins were particularly appealing as they combined a reserved, almost timid, approach with a pleasing tone that saw lines played out with crystal clarity. The second movement started in suitably churning fashion, but the central slower episodes were beautiful and haunting by turn, while in the chorale in D major the brass proved especially strong...a thunderous conclusion capped a performance that at every turn carried an appropriate sense of both the monumental and uplifting. Sam Smith, Music OMH
**** Nott led a performance of rare delicacy. Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
*** The British maestro Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra from Bavaria are a seasoned combo, and their Mahler was well-prepared and neatly executed (good wind principals and a star first horn.) Richard Morrison, The Times

Concert: 22 May 2012

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Avery Fisher Hall, New York

He is a thoughtful interpreter, with fresh ideas and a fluid yet focused technique, and as he demonstrated in concerts with his Bamberg ensemble he can confound expectations, even in programs that rest heavily on the commonplace. Mr Nott opened the Sunday program with Webern's Five Pieces for Orchestra (1913), a set of idea-packed vignettes etched in delicate strokes and rapidly changing colours. The reading unfolded with startling efficiency, moving briskly through a cycle of aural imagery, from warm-hued suppleness to mechanistic precision, mysteriousness and sparkling fragility. Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

Concert: 2 March 2012

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Jean-Pierre Aimard (Piano), Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago

If there is a silver lining to Pierre Boulez's bowing out of his concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it is for the chance to give audiences to hear the CSO debuts of rising conductors of the younger generation - the British conductor Jonathan Nott. Nott took over Boulez's Schoenberg-Mahler program Thursday night at Symphony Center and served notice of an accomplished podium talent deserving of wider recognition...The sensitivity with which he brought out the rich-hued yet subtle scoring and autumnal melancholy of Mahler's 'Das Lied von der Erde' marked him as no ordinary Mahler interpreter. Nott proved that clarity and refinement of execution need not preclude warmth and directness of feeling in this valedictory song-symphony...He had one of the world's great Mahler orchestras responding as one player...Nott revealed things in Schoenberg's orchestral palette nobody this side of Boulez has conveyed so well. He deserves to be invited back, next time through the front door. John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
This week a trusted younger colleague of Boulez, British Jonathan Nott, agreed to take up the heavy-duty combination of Schoenberg's 1942 Piano Concerto and Mahler's 1907-8 posthumously performed and published 'Das Lied von der Erde.' His major gesture here should earn him his own programming and concert week. Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times


Symphony No.6: 15 January 2012

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg

Jonathan Nott, the British conductor who arrived as chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in 2000 has effected a quiet musical revolution. Resisting glamorous guest conducting offers he has consistently raised the Bamberg SO to ever greater international prominence. That he and his orchestra have been chosen to perform the Ring at the elite Lucerne festival in 2013, Wagner year, is proof of his success...Somehow Nott manages to hurl himself from waist, head, torso into the body of the orchestra, precise with every cue but inspiring a fiery response, with warm strings and ardent woodwind...His ongoing Mahler series, available as live recordings, has won high praise. Last weekend it was the turn of the Sixth Symphony (1906)... Squeezing every ounce of emotion from the score, Nott placed the disputed Andante after rather than before the coruscating Scherzo, making its tragic, major-key simplicity all the more affecting. The work's total impact was shattering: the queue for coats afterwards appeared peopled by ghosts. Proms and Edinburgh appearances aside, Nott remains too little known here...Someone in the UK must snap him up soon. Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

Concert: 2 December 2011

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House

Conductor Jonathan Nott and the orchestra's polished accompaniment was full of interest and activity...their lively tempos, alert rhythms, shapely phrasing and strong dynamic realized the symphony's [Schubert Symphony No.9] unique blend of elegance, joy, muscular strength and imposing majesty. Murray Black, The Australian
Nott continued to impress in the second half when he conducted Schubert's Great Ninth Symphony from memory - an impressive feat as it is about the same length as Mahler's fourth. This was an exciting and insightful performance with Nott keeping a tight control on pace and volume but still allowing the orchestra its head in the glorious singing lines. Steve Arther, MacArthur Chronicle


3 September 2011

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano), Usher Hall Edinburgh

Jonathan Nott and his dedicated Bambergers delivered on Saturday a very special scrupulous examination of what made Ravel the composer he was. On their third visit to the Festival in recent years, these were players to arouse the greatest expectations. Although, for some people, what matters in Daphnis And Chloe is the closing scene, which forms the basis of a standard orchestral suite, the context of the rest of the work is essential if the music is to make its proper effect. This, and more, was what it was given. Nott is a master of musical structure who was clearly in his element. Conrad Wilson, Scottish Herald


Symphony No.7: 28 May 2011

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Essen Philharmonie

After this outstanding performance, the Bamberger Symphoniker and their fabulous conductor is probably the world's finest Mahler orchestra. But it gets better! Jonathan Nott creates exactly what you need for a deeply moving interpretation of Mahler...Rarely has Mahler been more modern and the Bamberger Symphoniker play him with true authenticity, something which is unique...I can only strongly urge all Mahler fans to experience the outstanding Bamberger Symphoniker and their fabulous conductor Jonathan Nott...A fantastically successful concert – Absolute Bravo – Bravi – Bravissimo! Peter Bilsing

Concert: January 2011

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Salzburg Mozartwoche

 Jonathan Nott, the current conductor in Bamberg was something quite extraordinary. He managed to convey ideas of historical performance practice with the late romantic sound of the Philharmonic in agreement. He did not imitate the original sound, but rendered the wonderful sound culture of the Philharmonic. Weitere Berichte, Salzburger Nachrichten

Concert: 20 November 2009

Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Severance Hall, Cleveland

Conductor Jonathan Nott, in his Cleveland debut, keeps the orchestra taut and alert, while the horns make uniquely cohesive contributions. In the “Science” music, Nott crafts a gripping crescendo, beginning with eerie stillness and culminating in a writhing contrapuntal peak. Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer




MAHLER Symphony No. 8
"Symphony of a Thousand"
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott


MAHLER Symphony No. 6
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott


MAHLER Symphony No. 7
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott


MAHLER Symphony No. 3
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott 


MAHLER Symphony No. 2
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott


MAHLER Symphony No. 9
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott


MAHLER Symphony No. 1
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott

Rite of Spring

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring
Stravinsky - Symphony in Three Movements
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jonathan Nott