Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

Conductor & Violin

Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon
"The thing that captivates me about conducting is that we have the chance to paint with a huge brush. I also play the violin, which is a much smaller brush. It's music too, it's still me, but the kind of colors you can paint with an orchestra are incredible."
Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, London Symphony Orchestra Blog, December 2014
Go to Biography
Contact Katja Hippler


Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider will become the seventh Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon in September 2020. Prior to that, in 19/20, he will conduct the orchestra’s season-opening concerts and will also take them on tour to Russia.
Szeps-Znaider is also a regular guest conductor of the world’s leading orchestras, with recent and forthcoming highlights including performances with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Stockholm, Brussels, and Oslo Philharmonics. Following an outstandingly successful debut conducting ‘Magic Flute’ at the Dresden Semperoper, Szeps-Znaider was immediately re-invited to conduct ‘Rosenkavalier’ at the House in Autumn 2019. The following season he will make his debut at the Royal Danish Opera conducting a new production of Magic Flute.
„Znaider knows what he’s about on the podium. He exhibits the confidence of a musician with thoughtful musical ideas and enough stick technique to convey those ideas to orchestral musicians in a way that inspires convincing results.”Chicago Tribune, Dezember 2017
Also a virtuoso violinist, Szeps-Znaider maintains his reputation as one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument with a busy calendar of concerto and recital engagements. He was the 18/19 season Artist in Residence at the Vienna Symphony, both conducting and playing with the orchestra in multiple projects across the season including his Musikverein conducting debut with Mahler’s epic first symphony.

Szeps-Znaider enjoys a strong relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra; an orchestra he has worked with extensively both as conductor and as soloist. Together they recently recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos, directed from the violin by Szeps-Znaider, with The Strad extolling his playing as ‘possibly among the most exquisite violin sound ever captured on disc’.

His extensive discography also includes the Nielsen Violin Concerto with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, the Elgar Concerto in B minor with Sir Colin Davis and the Dresden Staatskapelle, award-winning recordings of the Brahms and Korngold concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic, the Beethoven and Mendelssohn concertos with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, the Prokofiev Concerto No. 2 and Glazunov Concerto with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Mendelssohn Concerto on DVD with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Szeps-Znaider has also recorded the complete works of Brahms for violin and piano with Yefim Bronfman.

Szeps-Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent, and is President of the Nielsen Competition, which takes place every three years in Odense, Denmark. He plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundations, the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation.

This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contact: Katja Hippler



2024 / 2025

You’ll find the current programs in the IMPRESARIUM of the 24/25 season

2019 / 2020
with Robert Kulek (Piano)

Korngold: Four Pieces Op.11 from the music to Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing“ for Violin and Piano

Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in G major, Op.78

Schönberg: Fantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 47

Strauss: Sonata in E-flat major for Violin and Piano, Op. 18


20:00 Uhr
DE / Bamberg - Konzerthalle Bamberg Joseph-Keilberth-Saal
Nikolaj Znaider, Bamberger Symphoniker, Saleem Ashkar
20:00 Uhr
DE / Bamberg - Konzerthalle Bamberg Joseph-Keilberth-Saal
Nikolaj Znaider, Bamberger Symphoniker, Saleem Ashkar


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Concertos Nos 4 & 5

London Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos (DVD or Blu-ray Disc)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64

Riccardo Chailly - Conductor
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Nielsen: Concertos
Carl Nielsen
Violin Concerto, Op. 33, FS 61
Flute Concerto, FS 119
Clarinet Concerto, Op. 57, FS 129

Robert Langevin - Flute
Anthony McGill - Clarinet
New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert - Conductor

Brahms & Korngold: Violin Concertos
Johannes Brahms
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 77

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 35

Wiener Philharmoniker
Valery Gergiev - Conductor

RCA Red Seal, 2009

Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Ludwig van Beethoven
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta - Conductor

RCA Classics, 2005

Bravo! Virtuoso & Romantic Encores
Henryk Wieniawski
Polonaise de Concert in D major, O. 4

Pablo de Sarasate
Danzas espanolas, Op. 22, Nos 1-2

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

Eugene Ysaye
Solo Sonata, Op. 27 No. 3, "Ballade"

Frédéric Chopin (Arr. Wilhelmj)
Nocturne in D major, Op. 27 No. 2
Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 55 No. 2

Fritz Kreisler
Recitativo & Scherzo Caprice, Op. 6

Joseph Achron (Arr. Auer)
Hebrew Melody, Op. 33

Manuel María Ponce (Arr. Heifetz)

Henryk Wienawski
Variations on an Original Theme in A major, Op. 15

Daniel Gortler - Piano

RCA Classics, 2003

Prokofiev & Glasunov: Violin Concertos
Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63

Alexander Glasunov
Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Méditation, Op. 42 No. 1
From Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Mariss Jansons - Conductor

BMG, 2002

Bruch & Nielsen: Violin Concertos
Carl Nielsen
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33

Max Bruch
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Lawrence Foster - Conductor

EMI Classics, 2000


Nikolaj Znaider & Christian Thielemann - Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 - Max Bruch
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 1
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20, KV466 - conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra


Katja Hippler
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 730