Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård is the current music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), following six seasons as principal guest conductor. In July 2022 it was announced that he would succeed Osmo Vänskä as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, becoming music director designate from the current season and assuming the full music director role from 2023–24. Between 2012 and 2018, he served as principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW), after stepping down as principal conductor and musical advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

He has appeared with many notable orchestras in such leading European centers as Berlin (Berlin Philharmonic and Berlin Radio Symphony and Mahler Chamber orchestras); Leipzig (Gewandhaus Orchestra); Paris (Orchestre National de France); London (London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, London Symphony, and Philharmonia Orchestra); Amsterdam and Rotterdam (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Netherlands and Rotterdam philharmonics); and he is a familiar figure in Scandinavia. North American appearances have included the symphony orchestras of Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. He also has made highly successful tours to China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The 2022–23 season sees Søndergård return to the Edinburgh International Festival (Mahler’s Symphony no. 3) and the BBC Proms with the RSNO. The two Proms performances were centered around Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto, performed by Nicola Benedetti. Plans for the RSNO main season include a full cycle of Brahms’s symphonies, Britten’s War Requiem, and further European touring. He makes extensive guest appearances in the United States, including debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, alongside returns to the Minnesota Orchestra and the Houston Symphony. On the operatic stage, the conductor revisits the Royal Danish Opera to lead Strauss’s Elektra. Also in his native Denmark, he returns to the Danish National Symphony to conduct the world premiere of Rune Glerup’s Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust as soloist.

Following his debut with the Royal Danish Opera (Kafka’s Trial), Søndergård has returned regularly in a broad repertoire, including Die Walküre, which won the 2022 Reumert Award for Best Opera. He has also enjoyed successful collaborations with Norwegian Opera and Royal Swedish Opera. His Stockholm productions of Tosca and Turandot (both with Nina Stemme) led to his Bavarian State Opera debut, and most recently for the opera’s Academy Concert series. He made his Deutsche Oper Berlin debut with the world premiere of Andrea Scartazzini’s Edward II.

His discography covers a broad range, including Sibelius’s symphonies and tone poems with BBC NOW and works by Prokofiev and Strauss with RSNO for Linn Records; Vilde Frang’s celebrated debut recording (WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne for EMI); Poul Ruders (Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Royal Danish Opera [Kafka’s Trial] for Da Capo and Bridge Records); and concertos by Lutosławski and Dutilleux with cellist Johannes Moser and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (Pentatone).

In January 2022, Thomas Søndergård was decorated with the prestigious Royal Order of Chivalry, the Order of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

November 2022