Michel Tabachnik

Michel Tabachnik
Background information
Born (1942-11-10) 10 November 1942
Geneva, Switzerland
Occupation(s) Conductor
Website www.micheltabachnik.com

Michel Tabachnik (born 10 November 1942) is a Swiss conductor and composer.

Early years

Michel Tabachnik was born in Geneva, where he studied piano, composition and conducting. As a young conductor he was a protégé of Igor Markevitch, Herbert von Karajan and Pierre Boulez, acting as the latter's assistant for four years, mainly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London. This led him to become closely involved with conducting and to perform many world premieres, particularly those of Iannis Xenakis.



He has held the position of Chief Conductor of the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra in Lisbon, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine and the Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris. His roster of orchestras includes the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Tokyo NHK, Orchestre de Paris and festivals such as Lucerne, Salzburg and Aix en Provence.

In the operatic field Michel Tabachnik has conducted in the opera houses of Paris, Geneva, Zürich, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome and Montreal. He has been a regular guest with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, where he led, among other works, Lohengrin, Madama Butterfly, Carmen and The Rake's Progress.


Michel Tabachnik works with several youth orchestras. He was Artistic Director of l'Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec (1985–1989) and, over a twelve-year period, l'Orchestre des Jeunes de la Méditerranée, which he founded in 1984.

He is also a pedagogue. In addition to leading Master Classes in Amsterdam (NOS), Lisbon (the Gulbenkian Foundation), Paris Conservatoire, Stockholm Conservatory, and others, he has also held the position of Professor of Conducting at both the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto (1984–1991), and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen (1993–2001).


In addition to his work as a conductor, Michel Tabachnik is also a composer. He has been honored with many commissions including "La Légende de Haïsha" for the anniversary of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution, "Le Cri de Mohim" for the 700th Year of Switzerland, and "Le Pacte des Onze" for I.R.C.A.M. Paris.

Michel Tabachnik records for Erato and Lyrinx, with whom he has been associated since 1991. His discography includes Beethoven, Wagner, Honegger and Iannis Xenakis. His recording of the Schumann Piano Concerto (with Catherine Collard as soloist) was voted Best Performance of the work by the international jury at the Radio Suisse Romande.

In 1995, Michel Tabachnik was named Artist of the Year by the Italian "Centro Internazionale di Arte e Cultura" in Rome.[1]

Order of the Solar Temple

Between 1994 and 2004, he was implicated in the dramatic events of the Order of the Solar Temple. In 2001 and 2006, Swiss and French judiciary eventually cleared him of any guilt in the collective suicides in Salvan and Cheiry (Switzerland, October 1994) then Vercors (France, December 1995).[2][3]

Later career

Since September 2005, Michel Tabachnik is chief-conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest (NNO).[4]

In 2008, Michel Tabachnik became the new music director and chief-conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic.[5] [6]



He has been invited to perform with orchestras such as:


  1. Profile on Tivoli & Crescendi
  2. Conductor cleared of cult deaths, BBC, June 25, 2001
  3. Swiss conductor acquitted of sect killings, Swiss Info, December 20, 2006
  4. Welcome to the NNO: past conductors
  5. Brussels Philharmonic: Music Director
  6. (French)Gilles Macassar, La Mer, Nocturnes...Claude Debussy - Brussels Philharmonic, dir. Michel Tabachnik, Telerama, April 23, 2011
  7. Editions Ring: L'Homme Sauvage
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