Rémy Ballot

RÉMY BALLOT – Chief Conductor

The conductor Rémy Ballot has been described by music critics as a rising star among today’s young and aspiring conductors, thanks largely to the overwhelmingly positive reception of his recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner.

Rémy Ballot (c) Reinhard Winkler

Much of the praise and honour given to his work in the music press verges on the reverential. His first recording, of Bruckner’s 3rd Symphony (2014), was awarded the prestigious French diapason d’or découverte and the highly coveted Pizzicato Supersonic Award, which has been awarded three times in succession for the latest three volumes in the series. Other accolades have included Record of the Month (8th Symphony, 2015) from the American magazine Stereophile and a nomination for the International Classical Music Awards (9th Symphony, 2015).

Rémy Ballot was born in Paris and studied the violin, music theory and pedagogy at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. At the early age of 16 he met the legendary conductor Sergiù Celibidache, who later became his mentor, guiding him and inspiring him to develop his own personal style. While still a student in Paris, Ballot founded his first orchestra made up of highly gifted young musicians, providing him with a platform to develop his talent for the first time in public.

In 2004, Ballot moved to Vienna to develop his musical career. Soon after arriving he established himself as a regular first violin in the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, performing under the most prominent conductors. He also gained the opportunity to work as assistant conductor for several projects, including Massenet’s Manon and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Opéra in Nantes.

Through working and performing with various ensembles such as the Stage Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, the Altomonte Orchestra St. Florian, the Academic Orchestra Association Vienna as well as the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Ballot continually extended his artistic repertoire. One unique result of these fruitful collaborations was a recording of Oliver Graber’s Concertino for piano and orchestra performed under Ballot’s baton at the Vienna State Opera in 2013.

Rémy Ballot has earned himself an outstanding reputation for tutoring young orchestras.  On several occasions he has conducted the Upper Austrian Youth Symphonic Orchestra, and in 2009/10 was appointed Artistic Advisor of the Orchestra Academy in Ossiach (Carinthia) under the patronage of the Vienna Philharmonic. There he raised the playing standard of the mixed group of young up-and-coming musicians to an international level.

After having created a great stir conducting the Altomonte Orchestra in performances of Bruckner’s Third and Ninth symphonies at the 2011 Bruckner Festival in St. Florian (Upper Austria), Ballot was appointed Artist-in-Residence of the 2013 festival. He continues as Conductor-in-Residence at the festival, where he is engaged in performing and recording the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner for Gramola Records, the first ever Cycle to be recorded in the Basilica Church of St. Florian – for many years the „spiritual home“ of the composer, who is now buried in the crypt beneath the famous Bruckner Organ.

Through conducting the Upper Austrian Youth Symphonic Orchestra, Ballot deepened his special rapport with the symphonies of Bruckner while also breathing new life into this great musical canon. The high standard of playing on the recordings from this remarkable collaboration, of Bruckner’s Eighth and Sixth symphonies, has enthralled both critics and audiences, astonished that they are hearing ‘only’ a youth orchestra.  In the words of critic Ken Ward, “That they could rehearse and perform such a sustained and intense performance as this seems nothing short of miraculous.”