British conductor Leo Hussain has established himself as a leading interpreter in his generation of Mozart, the second Viennese school and great 20th century masterpieces, breathing life into new scores and bringing fresh perspective to programming the core romantic repertoire with his musical intellect and curiosity. He was formerly Music Director of the Opéra de Rouen and Salzburg Landestheater, and now conducts many of the world’s top orchestras and opera houses.
Highlights of the 2020/21 season include returns to both the Wien Modern and Theater an der Wien to conduct Massenet’s Thaïs. He will appear at both Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse for Pelléas et Mélisande and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse to conduct La Carmelite, followed by Hans Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen at The Bayerische Staatsoper.
Most recently, he has made his house debut at Kungliga Operan for Bizet's Carmen and returned to The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to conduct Die Zauberflöte, Strauss' Salome at Theater an der Wien, the Hamburger Symphoniker, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oper Frankfurt, Gothenburg Opera, made his debut with the Norwegian National Opera and conducted a new production of Korngold Die Tote Stadt at Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, following his debut at San Francisco Opera. These follow performances with the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Wiener Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker at Mozartfest Würzburg, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, DSO Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Prague Philharmonia, Gulbenkian Orchestra and Royal Danish Orchestra. Outside Europe he has conducted the West Australian and Tasmanian symphony orchestras and Auckland Philharmonia, the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the Tokyo Spring Festival.
He conducts most seasons at the Theater an der Wien and in 2016 he made his critically acclaimed debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden with Enescu Oedipe, described by the Sunday Times as "a musical performance of overwhelming impact" and leading to an immediate re-invitation. Other notable operatic successes include Strauss Capriccio for Santa Fe Opera, Britten The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and productions at La Monnaie, English National Opera, and the Bavarian and Berlin state operas. He enjoys a strong relationship with the George Enescu Festival with recent concert performances of Berg Wozzeck and Schoenberg Gurrelieder.
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 and close working relationships with these and other conductors including Daniel Barenboim and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Leo Hussain studied at Cambridge University and London’s Royal Academy of Music.
Opera Today, August 2016
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. Maestro Hussain led a propulsive, informed, precise reading that fell gratefully on the ear.
Telegraph, May 2016
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.
Leo Hussain has left a business card at the Wiener Konzerthaus, on which the word 'talent' shimmers in golden letters.