Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov made his Royal Opera debut in 2003 conducting Elektra. He has since returned to conduct Boris Godunov, The Queen of Spades, Lohengrin, Don Carlo, Tannhäuser, La bohème and Die Frau ohne Schatten for The Royal Opera. In the 2015/16 Season he conducts Eugene Onegin for The Royal Opera.
Bychkov was born in St Petersburg and studied at the Glinka Choir School before moving to the Leningrad Conservatory to study with Ilya Musin, in his spare time playing volleyball for the Leningrad Dynamos. He won the 1973 Rachmaninoff Conducting Competition and soon after emigrated to the USA. He was appointed Chief Conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and the following year made his professional operatic debut conducting Carmen at New York City Opera. He has gone on to develop a rich career balancing both symphonic and operatic repertory, working with orchestras and opera houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, Chicago and New York, among others. His past positions include Music Director of Orchestre de Paris (1989–98), Principal Guest Conductor at St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (1990–94) and Maggio Musicale, Florence (1992–8), and Chief Conductor at the Dresden Semperoper (1998–2003) and of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (1997–2010). His many opera engagements include Elektra (Teatro Real, Madrid), Otello (Metropolitan Opera, New York) and Tristan und Isolde (BBC Proms).
Bychkov’s extensive discography includes Lohengrin with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (winner of the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Disc of the Year).
News and features
Claus Guth’s production of Die Frau ohne Schatten wins Best Opera at The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2015
Richard Strauss’s dark fairytale honoured at a ceremony held at The Savoy Hotel in London, last night.
The awards, now in their third year, celebrate excellence in opera and provide bursaries for emerging talent.
A host of Royal Opera-affiliated artists have been shortlisted.