Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of today’s most distinctive symphonic and opera conductors”, Yuval Zorn is one of the most prominent Israeli conductors of his generation, particularly active in the fields of opera and contemporary music. His work embraces a wide repertoire and his performances have gained him critical acclaim for their sensitivity, energy and richness of detail. Former Kapellmeister at the Frankfurt Opera and former member of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he performed with leading orchestras and ensembles as well as at major festivals in Israel, Europe and the Americas. His projects this season include the continued collaborations with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Contemporary Players, a new production of L’Italiana in Algeri at the Israeli Opera, the world première of Hana Ajiashvili’s opera Cut Glass with Ensemble Meitar, and his debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.
Photo credit: Michael Pavia
Born 1976 in Jerusalem, Yuval Zorn is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Piano and Conducting and is an alumnus of the National Opera Studio in London. He then joined the music staff at Glyndebourne and at the English National Opera, before having been taken on as the first conductor to join the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2002. During his time at the ROH he served as part of the music staff on numerous productions, primarily as an assistant to the ROH’s music director Sir Antonio Pappano. Since leaving the ROH he has broadened his opera repertoire by assisting conductors such as Daniel Harding, Iván Fischer, Kazushi Ono, Kirill Petrenko and Sebastian Weigle amongst many others, in houses and festivals such as the Danish Royal Theatre, Glyndebourne, The Liceo in Barcelona, Aix en Provence and more.
In 2008 he was appointed Kapellmeister at the Frankfurt Opera following his debut there conducting Udo Zimmermann’s Die Weiße Rose, a position he held until 2012. During that time he conducted both premières and repertoire performances of a broad range of opera repertoire, including La Traviata, La clemenza di tito, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Il trittico, I masnadieri, Lucia di lammermoor, The Turn of the Screw, Owen Wingrave as well as more unusual projects such as Jörn Arnecke’s opera Unter Eis, the world première of Jens Joneleit’s Piero-Ende der Nacht, and Neunzehnhundert, an evening of staged versions of Pieces by Zemlinsky, Schönberg and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
As a guest conductor, Yuval Zorn conducted at the Israeli Opera (Don Carlo, Mefistofele, Macbeth, Werther, Nabucco and Il barbiere di siviglia), the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (Sciarrino’s Lohengrin), the Frankfurt Opera, the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro (Il turco in Italia), the Royal Opera House (World première of Dominique le Gendre’s Bird of Night), the Münchener Biennale, the Ruhr Triennale and the Israeli Music Festival amongst others. He worked with leading orchestras such as the London Philharmonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bochumer Symphoniker, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Camerata as well as with leading ensembles such as Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Resonanz, Israeli Contemporary Players and Ensemble Meitar with whom he toured Canada, the USA and Switzerland.
His first solo piano album LANDSCAPES, released 2020 by the British label Rubicon Classics, was lauded by the critics of the BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone Magazine, who described it as “an impressive release on all counts, and highly recommended”. It features works by Messiaen, Villa-Lobos, Janáček and Samir Odeh Tamimi and was recorded at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.
In recent years he dedicates part of his time to education, working regularly with the David Goldmann Programme for outstanding young musicians run by the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Music Centre, with Meitar Ensemble’s TEDARIM and CEME projects for young musicians, teaches conducting at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and serves as Music Director of the Mendi Rodan Symphony Orchestra at the Jerusalem Academy.
© Yuval Zorn, May 2021