Grammy-award winning conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin is music director of the Orchestra Métropolitain in Montreal, the Metropolitan Opera in NYC and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is also who Bradley Cooper turned to when he created Maestro, the biographical drama film that centers on the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein.
JK: How much do you love your job?
YN: I don’t think anyone can love their job more than I do (laughing). When I was 10, I wanted to do this for a living. Don’t ask me why, I just knew. To travel and do it internationally with the best musicians in the world, I am truly living the dream.
JK: That has to be an incredible feeling...
YN: I get to travel with the Philadelphia Orchestra and bring our sound and spirit on tour. When I feel emotion in the hall, and I can see them, almost crying, or that they are so excited, they want to scream. This is for all of us, the musicians of the orchestra and myself, it’s the greatest reward.
JK: You collaborate with a number of different people, from Broadway to Hollywood. Most recently, Philly’s own Bradley Cooper and Carrie Mulligan. What was that like:
YN: Bradley and Carrie were just very emotional about feeling the energy of the group. I think it’s good to collaborate with these people and bring their own talent and it’s inspiring for them to sit with the orchestra.
JK: You’re a big runner, is that how you decompress?
YN: When I was growing up, I didn’t do sports at all, I was really this artist-type, nerdy. I needed to practice my piano. Running and lifting weights and doing some stretching and yoga, this is all part of my routine. Running is the best way to discover new places.
JK: What are you listening to when you are running?
YN: I try to run with nothing in my ears—just city sounds, the birds and people talking, which I love.
JK: Do you find the same passion that Philadelphians have for their sports teams in your audience?
YN: There is so much love and so much love for the orchestra. I go through the orchestra and have the principal flute and principal oboe and principal trumpet and horn and I make them stand up and people cheer for them like they are their favorite team players. I feel like it’s just expanding the appreciation of how music can be at the center of so many art forms.