The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced that Yannick Nézet-Séguin is to be its new director of music.

The Canadian conductor, 35, will begin his new post at the orchestra, one of the ‘Big Five’ in the US, in 2012. He takes over from Charles Dutoit, who has been serving as chief conductor since Christoph Eschenbach resigned as music director in 2008.

Nézet-Séguin’s rise up the conducting ranks has been impressively swift. Heralded as a young conductor to watch as chief conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal from 2000, he really hit the headlines in December 2006 when it was announced that he would be succeeding Valery Gergiev as the principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. The post of principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra soon followed.

Named as a the young artist of the year at last year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards for live performance – where his acceptance speech displayed the modesty and good humour that has made him so popular with musicians and audiences alike – Nézet-Séguin has also impressed with his recordings on disc. These include acclaimed Bruckner symphonies with the Montréal orchestra and, most recently, a disc of Ravel orchestral works with the Rotterdam Philharmonic on EMI.

Jeremy Pound