Chief Conductor: BBC Singers
Music Director: La Maîtrise de Radio France
Representation: General Management
Photo: Patrick Allen - operaomnia.co.uk
Energetic, sensible, fun, charming and a phenomenally inspiring conductor of singers and orchestras alike, Sofi Jeannin is currently Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers, a post she formally took up in September 2018 – the first female in the role. With an easy authority and comfortable familiarity across many genres of music, Jeannin is able to bring new life to today’s classics, drawing out new and exciting sound worlds from those she works with. Equally at home with contemporary music, and extended vocal techniques, Sofi Jeannin is one of the most versatile choral conductors around today, gleaning a wealth of experience from her time with the French Radio Chorus, and la Maîtrise de Radio France, where she continues as Music Director, as well as her background as a classically-trained mezzo.
Renowned for her beautifully clear and succinct technique, and with a formidable repertoire knowledge and understanding across all genres, Swedish-born Sofi Jeannin has established herself as one of the finest and most respected choral specialists around today.
Currently Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers and Music Director of la Maîtrise de Radio France, Jeannin was previously Music Director of the Choeur de Radio France, a post she took up in 2015.
Through her work with the French Radio Chorus – the largest professional symphonic chorus in Europe – Jeannin became the collaborative conductor of choice for a number of prominent figures, including Gustavo Dudamel, Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach and Valery Gergiev, collaborating with orchestras such as l’Orchestre National de France, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In 2008, Jeannin was appointed Music Director of la Maîtrise de Radio France – the choir famously favoured by Messiaen and Dutilleux – where she continues to have the musical and pedagogical responsibility of 180 choristers. During her time with la Maîtrise, Jeannin has commissioned many new works, collaborating with composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Peter Eötvös, John Adams and Thierry Escaich, and has given regular broadcasts on France Musique. She has conducted regularly at the St Denis Festival, including repertoire such as Messiaen Trois petites liturgies, Mozart Vespers and the Sinfonia Concertante with Renaud Capuçon and Adrien La Marca.
In September 2018, Sofi Jeannin formally began her tenure with the BBC Singers as their new Chief Conductor. Recent and forthcoming performance highlights with the chorus include an appearance at the BBC Proms with a programme exploring 20th and 21st century English choral repertoire; collaborations with the Academy of Ancient Music for a vibrant and contemporary interpretation of the dances of Rameau and Lully, as well as performances of Bach Christmas Oratorio; a recording of Poulenc Figure Humaine; the premiere of a new work by Roderick Williams; conducting the BBC Singers at the BBC Proms in Dubai; and a programme of works by Weir, Tüür and Messiaen exploring the theme of love and longing at London’s Milton Court.
Alongside her work with the BBC Singers, Jeannin has a busy and fulfilling guest career, with recent and future engagement highlights including appearances with orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Norrköping Symphony, conducting repertoire such as Haydn The Seasons, Faure Requiem, a selection of Bach oratorio and Passion movements, and Handel Messiah. Choral project highlights include appearances with the Swedish Radio Chorus, Coro Casa da Musica, Chamber Choi Ireland, NFM Choir, Wroclaw, and la Maîtrise de Radio France.
Sofi Jeannin studied conducting and singing at the Stockholm Royal College of Music, the Nice Conservatoire and then at the Royal College of Music, London, with Paul Spicer. She conducted her first BBC Radio 3 broadcast, the British premiere of Consolation I by Helmut Lachenmann, in 2006, and prepared the Royal College of Music Chorus for conductors including Bernard Haitink, Peter Schreier and David Willcocks.
Committed to education and outreach work, Jeannin has worked with the chorus and orchestra of Kinshasa, Congo, and has also been involved in El Sistema, Greece since early 2017. She regularly gives workshops and masterclasses around the world.
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