Thomas Zehetmair, Principle Conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra since the 2019/2020 season and Chef principal of the Orchestre National d’Auvergne since 2020, has concerned himself with leading orchestras since the beginning of his soloist carrier. As teachers, he claims Michael Gielen, David Zinman, Sir Neville Marriner and Michael Schønwandt. Other invaluable influences came from Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Frans Brüggen.
Thomas Zehetmair is active as a conductor all over the world. Among others, he was Principle Conductor of the Orchestre de chambre de Paris and for many years was an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (USA). From 2002 to 2014, he worked as the Music Director – and remains to the present Conductor Laureate – of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and helped establish it as one of the leading orchestras in England, documented by recordings of symphonies by Schubert, Schumann, Sibelius, Hans Gál and newly discovered orchestral works by Britten. Conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt and many others have influenced his soloist carrier, which has been recognized through three “Gramophone Awards” and numerous other awards for CD recording.
During the current season, he is guest conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra. Recordings and concerts with the Zehetmair Quartett, founded in 1994, are also planned in Munich, Innsbruck, Bad Homburg, Brussels and Helsinki, among others.
Thomas Zehetmair’s recent recording of “Sei soli” by Bach on the baroque violin won the Opus Klassik 2020 for best solo recording. The New York Times began their “best of” list for 2019 with this CD, which was also one of the six recommendations of the year from the Zeit newspaper. At the Salzburger Festspielen 2021, Thomas Zehetmair made his mark with a noteworthy interpretation of all “sei soli” in one evening.
Zehetmair has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Weimar and Newcastle upon Tyne.