Music Director

Music Director

Frédéric Chaslin, Music Director

Maestro Frédéric Chaslin is the Music Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, a tenure he began on the 2011-2012 season. This is Maestro Chaslin’s second term in this role, following his service as the Chief Conductor of the orchestra from 1999 to 2002. Conductor, pianist, composer and author, Chaslin was born in Paris and was educated at the Paris Conservatoire and at the Salzburg Mozarteum.  He began his conducting career in 1989 as assistant to Daniel Barenboim in Paris and Bayreuth. In 1991 he became Pierre Boulez’s assistant at the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris.

In 2010 Maestro Chaslin began a three year service as Music Director of the Santa Fe Opera. He made his debut there in 2009, conducting La Traviata (Verdi) and has recently opened the 2011 season with Faust (Gounod). Chaslin made his international début in 1993 at Austria’s Bregenz Festival, where he conducted for four seasons and collaborated with David Pountney on notable productions of Nabucco (Verdi) and Fidelio (Beethoven). He was a Resident Conductor at the Vienna State Opera starting in 1997, conducting more than 110 performances of major repertory. He also served as Music Director at Rouen Opera for three years.

Major international festivals and opera companies at which Maestro Chaslin has appeared include ones in New York, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Scotland, and Wales. Chaslin has led many leading orchestras worldwide including all the major Parisian orchestras, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Hallé Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonia. He also led a complete Ring cycle (Wagner) in Hanover.

Maestro Chaslin was named General Music Director of Germany’s Nationaltheater Mannheim in 2005, where he conducted Wagner operas such as Tristan und Isolde and Tannhäuser, as well as all of Richard Strauss’s major works. 

Recently, he completed a series of performances of Tosca (Puccini) and Andrea Chénier (Giordano) at the New National Tokyo Theater. Maestro Chaslin made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2002, conducting Il Trovatore (Verdi), and has subsequently led Met productions of The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach), Sicilian Vespers (Verdi), The Barber of Seville (Rossini), and La Bohème (Puccini).  He conducted Romeo and Juliet (Bellini) at the Los Angeles Opera in 2005, with Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko in the title roles.  Last summer Maestro Chaslin returned to the Vienna State Opera for La Juive (Fromental Halévy) with Neil Shicoff, and will open Italy’s Macerata Festival with Faust (Gounod), staged by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Next season he will be back in Vienna, conducting Werther (Massenet) with Jonas Kaufmann. 

Among his performances as pianist, Maestro Chaslin appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. As a composer-conductor he conducted Ravel’s G Major Concerto numerous times in Japan, Italy, Israel and many other places.

Maestro Chaslin considers the renewal of the repertoire an important priority, and has been involved in more than twenty world premieres of contemporary works.  He addresses this topic in his latest book, Music in Every Sense, an in-depth look at aspects of modern music and its relationship with the audience.  Already published in French and German, the book will soon appear in English.   

As a composer, Chaslin has written orchestral pieces, movie soundtracks, and operas. His compositions include the Chagall Suite for Orchestra, whose world première was performed by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, “Diva Dance” for the film The Fifth Element, and the opera Wuthering Heights, on a libretto by P.H. Fisher. Wuthering Heights was recorded by the London Philharmonia and the London Sympony Chorus.  The Overture, Choral Suite from Wuthering Heights has been recently performed in Norway, Italy and Israel. Wuthering Heights selections were played in Russia with Maestro Valery Gergiev conducting and Natalie Dessay singing two of the lead arias from the opera.