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, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Eugene Onegin and Così fan tutte for The Royal Opera. In the 2019/20 Season he conducts Tristan und Isolde.
Since emigrating from St Petersburg in the mid-1970s Bychkov has developed a rich career balancing both symphonic and operatic repertory, working with leading orchestras and opera houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, Chicago and New York, among others. He is currently Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic and also performs regularly with the Vienna, Berlin, Munich and New York philharmonic orchestras, and the Cleveland, Royal Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras. His extensive discography includes The Tchaikovsky Project with the Czech Philharmonic, a series of highly acclaimed Strauss recordings, a complete cycle of Brahms symphonies, Verdi’s Requiem, works by Mahler and Shostakovich and Lohengrin (Opera Magazine’s Disc of the Month and BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Year). His past positions include Music Director of Orchestre de Paris (1989–98), Principal Guest Conductor of St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (1990–94) and Maggio Musicale, Florence (1992–8), and Chief Conductor of the Dresden Semperoper (1998–2003) and of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (1997–2010).
Bychkov’s many opera engagements include Elektra and Parsifal (Vienna State Opera), Khovanshchina (BBC Proms), Parsifal (Bayreuth Festival, Teatro Real, Madrid) and appearances for Paris Opéra, La Scala, Milan and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In 2015 he was named Conductor of the Year at the International Opera Awards.