Leo Hussain has been principal conductor of the orchestra of Opera de Rouen Normandie since 2014, where he is responsible for planning and conducting a symphonic season of concerts, and has already developed a reputation for eclectic and dramatic programming, and for introducing new works to Rouen audiences, from composers as diverse as Walton, Alwyn, Berlioz, Henze, Ligeti and Hossam Mahmoud.
He began his musical career aged 8 in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, with whom he appears on many recordings, and toured the world as a performer. After completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he began a long association with the Salzburg Festival, where he worked as an assistant conductor to many of the world’s greatest maestros, including Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Muti and Daniel Barenboim. This led, in 2008, to his appointment as Music Director at the Salzburg State Theatre, where he spent five years broadening the repertoire (notable successes included Wozzeck and Tristan and Isolde, as well as all the major Mozart operas) and raising the musical profile of the theatre.
This was also the beginning of a long association with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg; other orchestras with which he has appeared include the Vienna Symphony, the DSO Berlin, NHK Tokyo, BBC Philharmonic, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He works at the world’s leading opera houses, and is a regular guest at the Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Oper Frankfurt, Theater an der Wien, the Santa Fe Opera, and the Mariinsky Theatre. In addition, he has made successful debuts in 2015-16 at both the Glyndebourne Festival (a critically acclaimed production of The Rape of Lucretia, available on DVD) and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (with the UK premiere of Enescu Oedipe, a piece with which he is particularly associated, having conducted three separate productions of it). He collaborates regularly with many leading singers, including Stephane Degout, Angelika Kirschlager, Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott, Sonya Yoncheva, Mireille Delunsch, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Johann Reuter, John Tomlinson, Kate Royal and Michael Volle, and in keeping with his passion for contemporary music, has premiered or commissioned works by composers such as Thierry Pécou, Hossam Mahmoud, Luke Bedford, Deborah Pritchard, Mark-Anthony Turnage and John Woolrich.