Stéphane Denève has been named as the new chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR). The Frenchman takes over from Sir Roger Norrington, who has been in charge of the German orchestra since 1998.
Under Norringon’s baton, the SWR has made a number of revolutionary and largely acclaimed recordings of composers such as Mahler and Tchaikovsky, in which the orchestra played in a historically informed performance (HIP) style – in particular, without vibrato – but on modern instruments. How Denève takes the orchestra forward in the next period in its history will be of significant interest.
Alongside the Stuttgart news comes the announcement that Denève has also signed an extension to his contract as music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), taking his commitment to the end of the 2011-12 season.
The French conductor has proved hugely popular in Glasgow, not least thanks to his fine recordings of works by Albert Roussel (1869-1937) on the Naxos label.