Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

Violinist and Conductor

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider was born in 1975 in Copenhagen. He studied in Copenhagen under Boris Kuschnir and subsequently at the Juilliard School in New York under Dorothy DeLay. In 1992 he won 1st prize at the Carl Nielsen International Competition (Odense, Denmark), in 1995 he was awarded 3rd prize at the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition (Helsinki) and in 1997 he received 1st prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Brussels).

Appears as a conductor and solo violinist with the world’s most prominent orchestras. He has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra since 2010, and was previously Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In December 2017 Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider first collaborated with the Orchestre National de Lyon, of which he will officially be appointed Music Director in September 2020.

The musician regularly appears with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Szeps-Znaider’s extensive discography includes Nielsen’s Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Staatskapelle Dresden under Sir Colin Davis, concerti by Brahms and Korngold with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Valery Gergiev, concerti by Beethoven and Mendelssohn with the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, Prokofiev’s Second Concerto and Glazunov’s Violin Concerto with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Mariss Jansons and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on DVD with the Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly. Szeps-Znaider has also recorded the complete works of Brahms for violin and piano together with Yefim Bronfman.

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent and founded the annual Nordic Music Academy summer school on the Danish island of Mors, of which he was Director for ten years. Today he is President of the Carl Nielsen International Competition.

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider plays the ex-Kreisler Guarneri “del Gesù” 1741 violin. This instrument is on extended loan to him from the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen through the generosity of the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation.
Information for January 2020

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