Yan Pascal Tortelier enjoys a distinguished career as a guest with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. He began his musical career as a violinist and at fourteen won first prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire and also made his debut as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following general musical studies with Nadia Boulanger, Tortelier studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and from 1974 to 1983 he was Associate Conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Further positions have included Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ulster Orchestra (1989-1992) and Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (2005-2008). He was Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, from 2009-2011, and currently holds the position of Guest Conductor of Honour, in which capacity he returns to the orchestra a number of times each season. Following his outstanding work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992 and 2003, including annual appearances at the BBC Proms and a very successful tour of the US to celebrate the orchestra's 60th anniversary season, he was given the title of Conductor Emeritus and continues to work with the orchestra regularly. He also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Yan Pascal Tortelier has collaborated with major orchestras including the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras, Czech Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala Milan, and in North America, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Boston, Chicago and Montreal Symphony Orchestras. Further afield he has collaborated with the Melbourne Symphony, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and the Hong Kong and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras.
Recent highlights have included his debut performances with the Iceland and Stavanger Symphony Orchestras, return visits to the BBC Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestras, the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and the San Francisco, St Louis, Cincinnati and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras. He also undertook a long-awaited return to Australia, for performances with the Melbourne, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and toured China with the London Philharmonic, and South America and Europe with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of the 2013/14 season and beyond includes performances with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest of The Hague, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony and Royal Scottish National Orchestras.
Tortelier has enjoyed a long association with Chandos Records, resulting in an extensive catalogue of recordings, notably with the BBC Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestras, and including award-winning cycles of the orchestral music of Debussy, Ravel (featuring his own orchestration of Ravel's Piano Trio), Franck, Roussel and Dutilleux. He has also conducted critically acclaimed discs of repertoire ranging from Hindemith and Kodaly to Lutoslawski and Karlowicz. Recent releases for Chandos include the Ravel piano concertos coupled with Debussy’s Fantaisie, with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and a disc of works by Florent Schmitt with the Sao Paulo Symphony.