The Royal Northern Sinfonia has appointed Lithuanian-born violinist Julian Rachlin as its new principal guest conductor, a position he will take up for the 2015/16 season.
Rachlin made his conducting debut with the Sage Gateshead-based chamber orchestra in October 2013, with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and the Fourth Symphony, in which orchestra and conductor struck up an instant rapport.
‘I am thrilled to be working so closely with such a dynamic orchestra,’ says Rachlin. ‘Following our first performance last year, I was astounded by the musical response and felt there was a great connection.’
This timely appointment follows the Northern Sinfonia securing pianist Lars Vogt as its new music director. Vogt is taking over from Thomas Zehetmair, whose ten-year tenure as music director came to an end last summer when he became the orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Based in Vienna for most of his life, Rachlin was only 14 when he became the youngest ever soloist to perform with the Vienna Philharmonic, under Riccardo Muti. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory and took private lessons with Pinchas Zukerman.
Now 40, his international career as a soloist has seen him perform at the BBC Proms and with world-class orchestras, including the Munich Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel and the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. As a conductor he has raised the baton for the Israel Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra.