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The conductor Semyon Bychkov, who was born in 1952 in Leningrad and has been an American citizen since 1983, studied at the Glinka Conservatory in his native city and won the Rachmaninoff Competition in 1973. In 1975 he emigrated to the United States, where he continued his training at the Mannes College of Music in New York. After his first performances with American orchestras and opera companies, in 1984 he filled in for several ailing colleagues, which gave his career a decisive boost. In rapid succession he made his debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the New York Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic, which immediately engaged him for an orchestral tour. Bychkov headed the Orchestre de Paris from 1989 to 1998, the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden from 1999 to 2003, and the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2010. Since then he has performed as a freelance conductor, working with many of the leading orchestras and opera houses around the world; he also holds the Otto Klemperer Chair of Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Bychkov enjoys close associations with London’s Royal Opera House, where, most recently, in 2014, he conducted Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten and where he will lead Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in December 2015. He has conducted Der Rosenkavalier at the Salzburg Festival, Verdi’s Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina at the Vienna Staatsoper. In the concert hall, during the 2014-15 season Bychkov was a guest conductor with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as the San Francisco, London, and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. In 2015 he was named “Conductor of the Year” as part of the International Opera Awards in London.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 1991, when he conducted the Orchestre de Paris in a program of works by Prokofiev, Berlioz, Brahms, and Dvorák.