Music | News | Philadelphia | Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Gay Man Named Music Director of Philadelphia Orchestra


Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a 35-year-old gay Montrealer, has been named the new music director and conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The city feted him on a recent trip there:

"The Montrealer knows most of the best, having conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic, in addition to his regular commitments to the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. All along the way, Nézet-Séguin gave good-humored syllable-by-syllable lessons on how to pronounce his name (Yah-NEEK Neh-ZAY Say-GUN), a conflation of his mother's maiden name, Claudine Nézet, and the family name of his father, Serge Séguin. The day's best mispronunciation was at City Hall with Nutter: It came out something like 'Unique Cezanne.' At every stop, Nézet-Séguin was introduced with his parents, who help manage his career and celebrated their 43d wedding anniversary yesterday. Usually in the same breath, the conductor's partner, Pierre Tourville, a violist in the Montreal orchestra, was also introduced. The two were visiting Philadelphia between Orchestre Metropolitain performances of the Mahler Symphony No. 8 in Canada."

A slideshow of Nézet-Séguin's visit to Philly, HERE.

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  1. Wow... and he's a hottie too! Sounds like my kinda orchestra! :)

    Posted by: Rick A | Jun 24, 2010 11:20:35 AM

  2. Must.. resist... comment... about giving... the hottie conductor... a standing O.

    I love that sign.

    Posted by: tjc | Jun 24, 2010 11:38:41 AM

  3. He conducted the orchestra the Pierre Lapointe (one of my favourite singers) at the Francfolies a few years back and was really incredible. He was not just conducting but a real part of the show and made it all the more incredible to see. Your gain is truly our loss.

    Posted by: Vincent-louis Apruzzese | Jun 24, 2010 11:43:43 AM

  4. This is a big deal. Historical. To have an openly gay man as the music director of one of the most storied orchestras in America is huge. A real victory.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Jun 24, 2010 11:52:37 AM

  5. And it looks like he's dispensed with that strange Canadian hairdo. Bravo!

    (You know the one of which I speak, Wayne Gretsky meets k.d. lang...)

    Posted by: JesryPo | Jun 24, 2010 11:57:57 AM

  6. My knowledge of classical music begins and ends with Elmer Fudd's exhilarating performance of Wagner's Ring Cycle, so admittedly this may not be in the same ballpark as the Philadelphia Orchestra... but the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has had a gay music director for about 10 years.

    And he's also been spotted at the Heretic wearing a leather harness. But you didn't hear that from me.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 24, 2010 12:09:25 PM

  7. a lot of conducters amd musical directors are into leather. they are all about control - having it or giving it up. Tilson-Thomas, Spano.....

    Posted by: WindReader | Jun 24, 2010 12:24:05 PM

  8. windreader, can you provide more specific evidence? :D

    Posted by: DireFates | Jun 24, 2010 12:51:27 PM

  9. that does it. Now I want to see him conduct a Ring cycle in leather.

    he's cute in tails but must be much hotter in a harness!

    Posted by: hugo | Jun 24, 2010 1:17:18 PM

  10. Crispy, the Philadelphia orchestra is world renowned. Atlanta has a nice orchestra but is in a complete different tier status-wise. Philly's new lad is also quite a bit younger than the bloke in Atlanta. Nézet-Séguin is a huge name in the classical world and a major coup for the PhilO.

    Posted by: Will | Jun 24, 2010 1:43:45 PM

  11. Finally, a homosexual leading an orchestra! Happy pride, everyone

    Posted by: iDuh | Jun 24, 2010 2:04:07 PM

  12. That's what I figured, Will. Thanks for the info!

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 24, 2010 2:17:45 PM

  13. Will is right, it's a major coup for the PhilO. They've been a bit of a mess for about a decade now and he's going to bring a lot of energy to them and hopefully stability. He's got an excellent reputation with orchestras and here's hoping that Philly can get back in the game with Boston, Cleveland, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

    His partner, Pierre Tourville, is on the right in this picture, very handsome couple!

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Jun 24, 2010 2:24:07 PM

  14. What, a dozen comments and no baton double-entendres? I'm very disappointed in you, people.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 24, 2010 2:28:32 PM

  15. This is fantastic. Yannick is an amazing conductor -- totally high energy -- and the musicians clearly love him. He gets great sound from his players. And yes, he is a totally hottie. These pictures don't do him justice. He's a little humunculous!

    Posted by: David | Jun 24, 2010 4:26:57 PM

  16. love that sign, haha, and the suggestive looking cone he's holding. damn, everything's sexier in montreal.

    Posted by: dh | Jun 24, 2010 4:59:50 PM

  17. This is a far cry from the 1950's, when rising star Leonard Bernstein had to find himself a wife if the conservative, wealthy board members of a major orchestra like the New York Philharmonic were going to appoint him music director.

    Posted by: Sancho | Jun 24, 2010 8:29:10 PM

  18. This is NOT historic. There have been MANY openly gay conductors through recent history.

    Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Robert Spano
    Michael Tilson-Thomas

    Just to name a few.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 24, 2010 10:20:47 PM

  19. @DH - that "suggestive cone" picture was taken here in Philly. And yes, everything is sexier in Philly too!

    Posted by: Andy | Jun 25, 2010 10:52:19 AM

  20. @ Direfates - I dated Spano for a significant period of time (just before he was at Brooklyn) and I have met MTT. you need more?

    Posted by: WindReader | Jun 25, 2010 3:32:48 PM

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