A regular conductor with many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and top orchestras, Leo Hussain’s musical intellect and curiosity enables him to bring a fresh perspective to old masterpieces as well as breathing life into new scores. Currently Principal Conductor of Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Leo Hussain was previously Music Director at the Landestheater Salzburg.
Hussain made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2016 with Enescu Oedipe to critical acclaim, described by the Sunday Times as "a musical performance of overwhelming impact." Recent highlights include a return to Santa Fe for Capriccio, The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Eugene Onegin at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Gounod Faust at the Staatsoper Berlin, Weinberg The Passenger for Oper Frankfurt, Iphigénie en Tauride et Aulide, La mère coupable and concert performances of Grigori Frid Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank at Theater an der Wien and Falstaff at the Royal Danish Theatre, Copenhagen. He returns to Theater an der Wien this season for Werner Egk Peer Gynt, and A Rake’s Progress and La Bohème are season highlights at the Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie. In future seasons, Hussain will return to Frankfurt Opera and make his debut for San Francisco Opera.
Early success at the Salzburg Festival, where he assisted Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, and Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic, led to worldwide symphonic debuts. Recent highlights include concerts with the Pacific Symphony, WDR Cologne, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, NHK Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Iceland Symphony, South Netherlands Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia, and Essener Philharmoniker orchestras. A strong and close relationship with the George Enescu Festival has seen recent concert performances of Schoenberg Gurrelieder and Berg Wozzeck, in addition to concert performances of Grigori Frid Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank at Theater an der Wien. This season includes his debuts with the Bamberg Symphony and Romanian Radio orchestras.
Leo Hussain received his training at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, London, and has since built up close working relationships with some of the world's finest conductors, including Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Barenboim and Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
Leo Hussain was a revelation in the pit, helming a delicate, fluid, mesmerizing, echt account of a graceful score that is more succulent caviar than substantial Hauptspeise. From the churning string ensemble of the prelude to the confrontational dialogue at the score’s core, to the rhapsodic meditation of the closing quarter of the opera, Maestro Hussain led a propulsive, informed, precise reading that fell gratefully on the ear
Leo Hussain proves a wonderfully resourceful and commanding conductor of this epic score. Under a baton less confident than his, such music could turn into gloop, but he sculpts it firmly into shape and relishes its more sinuously graceful passages as well as its grandly extended climaxes. The orchestral playing is virtuosic.