Since leaving St Petersburg in the mid ‘70’s, Semyon Bychkov has been a guest on the podiums of the world’s finest orchestras. With his time carefully balanced between operatic and symphonic repertoire, he enjoys long and fruitful relationships with the orchestras and major opera houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Bychkov’s trademark is in the breadth of his vision, the clarity of his interpretation and the rich beauty of his sound, captured in a series of award-winning cd’s and dvd’s that are part of the legacy of his tenure as Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln. Winner of BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Year 2010, Bychkov’s recording of Wagner’s Lohengrin was committed to disc following staged performances at the Vienna Staatsoper and concert performances in Cologne.
Bychkov’s recent recording of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony coupled with Till Eulenspiegel, Lustige Streiche (Profil) follows a series of benchmark Strauss recordings including Ein Heldenleben and Metamorphosen (Avie), Daphne with Renée Fleming (Decca) and Elektra with Deborah Polaski (Profil). Also with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln are recordings of Mahler, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, the complete cycle of Brahms’ Symphonies, and Verdi’s Requiem. Both the Brahms symphonies and the Rachmaninoff (Symphony No. 2, Symphonic Dances and The Bells) are also available on DVD (Arthaus).
Following the end of his 13-year tenure with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, this season Bychkov conducts the Filarmonica della Scala on tour in Asia and Europe; the Concertgebouw in Europe; and the Vienna Philharmonic in the US. In addition he appears as a guest conductor with the orchestras of Cleveland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig, and London, with performances in Milan, Shanghai, Beijing, Oslo, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Toronto, Athens, Florence and Paris.
A pupil of the legendary pedagogue, Ilya Musin, Bychkov’s name came to international attention while Music Director of Michigan’s Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States. Following a series of high-profile cancellations that resulted in invitations to conduct both the New York and Berlin Philharmonics and the Concertgebouw, he was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Philips Classics. Moving to Paris, Bychkov was appointed Music Director of Orchestre de Paris (1989), Principal Guest Conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic (1990), Principal Guest Conductor of Maggio Musicale, Florence (1992), Chief Conductor of WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln (1997) and Chief Conductor of Dresden Semperoper (1998).
Bychkov made his Covent Garden debut in 2003 with a new production of Elektra and returned later that year to conduct Boris Godunov. He has since conducted Queen of Spades (2006), Lohengrin (2009) and Don Carlos (2009) at Covent Garden, and Boris Godunov (2004) and Otello (2007 ) at the Met. He returns to Covent Garden to conduct a new production of Tannhäuser in December 2010, and will conduct both Otello and Rigoletto at the Met in 2013. In Italy, Bychkov conducted Tosca (1996) and Elektra (2005) at La Scala, Milan, where he will return in 2012; a new production of Don Carlo in Torino (2006); and numerous productions at Maggio Musicale Florence, including award-winning productions of Jenufa (1993), Schubert's Fierrabras (1995) and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1997) . Bychkov made his Paris Opera debut with Ballo in Maschera (2007) and returned to conduct Tristan und Isolde (2009); and in Vienna he has conducted Elektra (2000),Tristan und Isolde (2001), Daphne (2003) and Lohengrin (2005), and Der Rosenkavalier (2005) at the Salzburg Festival.