Tennant Artists

Jurjen Hempel

With a repertoire ranging from Bach to Boulez, Jurjen Hempel is regarded as one of the most versatile conductors of his generation. He studied conducting with David Porcelijn and Kenneth Montgomery at the Utrecht Conservatory, and continued his apprenticeship as assistant to Edo de Waart, Hans Vonk and David Robertson. At the invitation of Seiji Ozawa he attended the Tanglewood Conducting Class where he worked with Bernard Haitink and Lorin Maazel. In May 1995 he was a prizewinner in the first Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki.

From 1996 to 1999 Hempel was Assistant Conductor to Valery Gergiev at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and in May 1997 made his highly acclaimed debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with that orchestra. A few months earlier he had made his debut with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, since when he has been a frequent visitor to both orchestras. In 2012 he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and was invited back to work with them again the following season.

His reputation as a conductor of new music has led him to work with many of the world’s finest contemporary music ensembles such as the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the London Sinfonietta. In 2004 he conducted the world première of Brian Ferneyhough’s opera Shadowtime at the Munich Biennale, followed by performances in Paris, London, New York and at the Ruhr Triennale in Bochum, and in 2013 he conducted the UK première of Frank Zappa’s 1971 extravaganza 200 Motels at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Southbank’s The Rest is Noise season.

Jurjen Hempel also has a busy career as an opera conductor. Notable engagements have included Salome for the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, as a result of which he was invited to conduct the same opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, the first Dutch conductor in the history of this famous theatre. He subsequently led the Mariinsky in a residency at the Tel Aviv Opera House. Other companies he has worked with include Opera Zuid (Don Giovanni), the Opéra National de Bordeaux (Rolf Liebermann’s L’école des femmes and Die Zauberflöte) and Opéra de Limoges (La damnation de Faust). He is currently Music Director of the Opéra de Toulon where this season he will conduct Andrea Chenier, Le Comte Ory and The Queen of Spades.

Engagements in recent seasons have included concerts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, the Basel Symphony, the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. In the UK he is a regular guest with the BBC Scottish Symphony, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Ulster Orchestra as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra with whom he made his Proms debut in 2005. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Youth Orchestra. Earlier this year he conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a programme celebrating the 80th birthday of Louis Andreissen. In 2021 he will make his debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.

Jurjen Hempel has recorded for Decca/Argo, Composer’s Voice, Elektra Nonesuch and Point Music.


Bella Davidovich


Jurjen Hempel


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