Joseph Swensen

Joseph Swensen – conductor

  • Artistic Director, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Wrocław
  • Conductor Emeritus, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Principal Conductor 1996-2005)
  • Principal Guest Conductor, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada

Joseph Swensen is Artistic Director of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra (Wroclaw), Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. He has previously served as Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (2009-2012), Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (1996-2005) and Principal Conductor of Malmö Opera (2005-2011). Recognized for forging solid bonds with orchestras, 2019-20 also includes returns to Swensen’s closest guest-conducting partners, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, as well as re-invitations from BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra.

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During his nine-year tenure with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swensen and the orchestra toured extensively in the US, UK, Europe and the Far East. They performed together at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, the BBC Proms, the Barbican and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. As Principal Conductor of the Malmö Opera in Sweden, Swensen conducted several highly acclaimed productions of rarely-staged works.

Before launching his conducting career in the mid-1990s, Swensen enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist appearing with the world’s major orchestras and conductors, and making a number of notable recordings including the Beethoven violin concerto with André Prévin and the Royal Philharmonic and the Sibelius violin concerto with Jukka Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, both on BMG Classics. With a special interest in exploring and developing the art of play-direct he created, with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the first ‘Paris Play-Direct Academy’ in 2011. Swensen has extended the play-direct repertoire far beyond the classical period to include concertos by composers such as Brahms, Barber and Prokofiev. His series of recordings for Linn Records featuring Brahms, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev’s second concerto, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra were internationally acclaimed and recently republished as a boxset.

A multifaceted musician, Joseph Swensen is an active composer and orchestrator. His orchestration of Prokofiev’s Five Songs Without Words (1920) is published by Boosey and Hawkes and Signum recorded Sinfonia in B (2007), an orchestration of the rarely performed 1854 version of Brahms’ Trio Op. 8. His work also includes orchestrations of Nielsen G minor quartet, Four Movements for Orchestra (1888) as well as arrangements for string orchestras of Beethoven String Quartet op.131 and Debussy String Quartet, which he recorded with the NFM Leopoldinum. His most notable compositions include Shizue (2001) for solo shakuhachi and orchestra, and the Sinfonia-Concertante for Horn and Orchestra (The Fire and the Rose) (2008) as well as infonietta (2017) for strings and synthesizer.

A sought-after pedagogue, Joseph Swensen teaches conducting, violin and chamber music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, while he and Victoria Swensen present year-round workshops and offer residencies for chamber-music, conducting and instrumental study at their 250-year old, farmhouse in Vermont.

An American of Norwegian and Japanese descent, Joseph Swensen was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up in Harlem, New York City.

June 2019

For full press pack, contact
Aude-Marie Auphan (Artist Manager)

Contact:
Victoria Rowsell (Managing Director)
Aude-Marie Auphan (Artist Manager)

Videos

Beethoven: Symphony no.4 (excerpt)
NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, April 2018
Bruckner: Symphony no.7 (excerpt)
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, October 2015
Tchaikovsky Symphony no.5, rehearsal
London Philharmonic Orchestra, March 2014

Concert Dates

November 2019 - July 2020
Date & Time Venue Details
Friday, 1 November
19:30
City Halls
Glasgow, UK

SUK: Serenade for Strings, op.6
JANÁČEK: The Fiddler’s Child
DVOŘÁK: Symphony no.5 in F major, op.76

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

violin: Stephanie Gonley

Thursday, 14 November
19:30
St David’s Hall
Cardiff, UK

GRIEG: Peer Gynt Suite no.1 op.46
GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor, op.16
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no.6 in B minor, op.74 ‘Pathétique’

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

piano: Yevgeny Sudbin

Saturday, 16 November
19:30
The Forum
Bath, UK

GRIEG: Peer Gynt Suite no.1 op.46
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto no.2 in C minor, op.18
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no.6 in B minor, op.74 ‘Pathétique’

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

piano: Yevgeny Sudbin

Saturday, 7 November
18:00
NFM Wrocław
Wrocław, Poland

PSTROKONSKA-NAWRATIL, GRAZYNA: Lydian Music for string orchestra (2002)
JANÁČEK: String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”
PROKOFIEV: Five Melodies op.35bis, (arr. Swensen)
SUK: Serenade for Strings, op.6

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Friday, 13 December
21:00
Casa da Música
Porto, Portugal

SWENSEN: Sinfonietta
COPLAND: Clarinet Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no.6 in B minor, op.74 ‘Pathétique’

Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música

clarinet: Carlos Alves

Sunday, 15 December
12:00
Casa da Música
Porto, Portugal

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no.6 in B minor, op.74 ‘Pathétique’

Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música

Wednesday, 1 January
15:00
Usher Hall
Edinburgh, UK

Selections from Grieg, Johann Strauss, Nielsen and more

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

soprano: Harriet Eyley

Friday, 3 January
19:00
Easterbrook Hall
Dumfries, UK

Selections from Grieg, Johann Strauss, Nielsen and more

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

soprano: Harriet Eyley

Saturday, 4 January
19:30
Ayr Town Hall
Ayr, UK

Selections from Grieg, Johann Strauss, Nielsen and more

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

soprano: Harriet Eyley

Sunday, 5 January
15:00
Caird Hall
Dundee, UK

Selections from Grieg, Johann Strauss, Nielsen and more

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

soprano: Harriet Eyley

Saturday, 11 January
19:00
NFM Wrocław
Wrocław, Poland

MAHLER: Piano Quartet (arranged for string orchestra by Alexander Asteriades)
SCHÖNBERG: Chamber Symphony no.1 in E major, op.9
WEILL: The Seven Deadly Sins

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

mezzo-soprano: Anne Sofie von Otter

Friday, 14 February
20:30
Auditorio Manuel de Falla
Granada, Spain

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
MOZART: Symphony no.33 in B-flat major, K.319
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending
MOZART: Symphony no.38 in D major, K.504 ‘Prague’

Orquesta Ciudad de Granada

Saturday, 15 February
20:30
Auditorio Manuel de Falla
Granada, Spain

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
MOZART: Symphony no.33 in B-flat major, K.319
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending
MOZART: Symphony no.38 in D major, K.504 ‘Prague’

Orquesta Ciudad de Granada

Saturday, 7 March
18:00
NFM Wrocław
Wrocław, Poland

PSTROKONSKA-NAWRATIL, GRAZYNA: Ice-Land for String Orchestra
GUBAIDULINA, SOFIA: Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H (2002)
BACEWICZ, GRAZYNA: Concerto for String Orchestra (1948)
MUSGRAVE, THEA: Lamenting with Ariadne (1999)
SAARIAHO (KAIJA): Nocturne (1994) for solo violin
ALBERGA, ELEANOR: Violin Concerto no.2 (World premiere)

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

violin: Thomas Bowes

Thursday, 19 March
20:00
Baluarte Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra
Pamplona, Spain

HAYDN: Symphony no.82 in C major “The Bear”
GLIÉRE: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in E-flat major, op.74
BEETHOVEN: Symphony no.8 in F major, op. 93

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

harp: Cristina Montes

Friday, 20 March
20:00
Baluarte Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra
Pamplona, Spain

HAYDN: Symphony no.82 in C major “The Bear”
GLIÉRE: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in E-flat major, op.74
BEETHOVEN: Symphony no.8 in F major, op. 93

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

harp: Cristina Montes

Saturday, 21 March
20:00
Baluarte Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra
Pamplona, Spain

HAYDN: Symphony no.82 in C major “The Bear”
GLIÉRE: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in E-flat major, op.74
BEETHOVEN: Symphony no.8 in F major, op. 93

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

harp: Cristina Montes

Friday, 27 March
Time TBA
Casa da Música
Porto, Portugal

MOZART: Symphony no.29 in A major, K.201/186a
STRAUSS, RICHARD: Ein Heldenleben, op. 40

Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música

Sunday, 29 March
12:00
Casa da Música
Porto, Portugal

MOZART: Symphony no.29 in A major, K.201/186a
STRAUSS, RICHARD: Ein Heldenleben, op. 40

Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música

Saturday, 23 May
19:00
NFM Wrocław
Wrocław, Poland

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto no.1 in C major, op.15
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet no.14 in C sharp minor, op.131 (arranged for string orchestra by J. Swensen)

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

piano: Imogen Cooper

Sunday, 14 June
19:00
NFM Wrocław
Wrocław, Poland

SWENSEN: Sinfonietta #3 (Mahler in Manhattan)
BROWN, MICHAEL: Piano concerto (World Premiere)
BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto in C major, op.56

NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

violin: Christian Danowicz

violin: Marcin Misiak

piano: Michael Brown

Gallery

Links

Useful Links

Official website
www.josephswensen.com
Currently under renovation

CM Artists (violin representation in North America, Linda Marder)
www.cmartists.com

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
www.sco.org.uk

Signum Records
www.signumrecords.com

Linn Records
www.linnrecords.com

Publisher
vj@vjpublishing.com