François-Xavier Roth and the Gürzenich Orchestra (detail) View full image

François-Xavier Roth

© Marco Borggreve

If he hasn’t already got the nickname Special FX, then Roth should adopt it … empathetic musicality and flair for colour, sometimes conjuring up such startling touches that the players look stunned.

Neil Fisher, The Times

Like the difference between a sparkling fruity champagne and an old, long stored red wine … a seductive bouquet of strong, warm and velvety nature smells, noble woody notes and dark, full colours.

Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Ravel: Daphnis & Chloé CD

Reviews of François-Xavier Roth’s regularly praised recordings in our pages all hint at one thing: there’s never anything routine about his approach, the sound or the vision.

Mark Cullingford, The Gramophone

François-Xavier Roth is one of today's most charismatic and enterprising conductors. With a reputation for enterprising programming, his incisive approach and inspiring leadership are valued around the world. He is working with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle, Royal Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, Munich Philharmonic and Zurich Tonhalle.

As Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, concerts in March and April feature programmes of works by Ravel, Bartók and Scriabin and, in the latest of his LSO Futures series, the current sound world of Philippe Manoury, with the UK premiere of Ring.

In Cologne, he leads new productions of Strauss’ Salome and Offenbach’s La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (marking the bicentenary of the composer’s birth in Cologne). Concerts feature Rhenish composer, Schumann, and explore works which disrupt traditional orchestral forms and think them anew. Continuing a focus on composer, Philippe Manoury, sees the premiere of Lab.Oratorium, the third of the trilogy of works commissioned by the orchestra, also to be played in Hamburg and Paris. He recently took the orchestra on tour to Turin, Budapest, Zürich and Vienna, performing Mahler’s fifth symphony.

A tireless champion of contemporary music, Roth is conductor of the ground-breaking LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme. He has premiered works by Yann Robin, Georg-Friedrich Haas and Simon Steen-Anderson and collaborated with composers like Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Rihm, Jörg Widmann and Helmut Lachenmann.

His recording of Ravel's Daphnis & Chloé with Les Siècles won the 2018 Gramophone Award for Orchestral Album of the Year. Recent recordings of Debussy and Berlioz with Les Siècles and Mahler's Symphony no.3 with the Gürzenich Orchestra have been widely acclaimed.


  • Gürzenich-Kapellmeister und Generalmusikdirektor der Stadt Köln
  • Artistic Director, Les Siècles
  • Principal Guest Conductor, London Symphony Orchestra
  • Artiste Associé, Philharmonie de Paris


11 publicity photos