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, Bavarian Radio Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle.

As Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, concerts this season explore works by Bartók, Varèse and Richard Strauss. There are visits planned to Brussels and Germany.

In Cologne, he leads a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Benjamin's Written on Skin at the opera. With the Gürzenich Orchestra, he continues his Bruckner cycle, exploration of Berlioz and features new commissions from Gander and Srnka alongside works by Bach, Rameau and Rebel. In celebration of the Beethoven Year, The New Academy carries the spirit with which Beethoven staged his academy concerts in Vienna into the here and now, juxtaposing intense moments of Beethoven’s music with particular, contemporary hallmark styles. The New Academy was heard in Cologne, London, Munich, Hamburg and Lyon.

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 Ravel with the London Symphony Orchestra, Schumann symphonies with the Gürzenich Orchestra, and Beethoven, Gossec and Saint-Saëns with Les Siècles have been widely acclaimed. He was named recipient of the German Record Critics' Honorary Prize; the youngest conductor ever to receive it.


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


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