Nikolaj Znaider

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Nikolaj Znaider
Znaider Echo2004.jpg
Background information
Birth nameNikolaj Szeps-Znaider
Born (1975-07-05) July 5, 1975 (age 45)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Occupation(s)Conductor, soloist

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider[1] (born 5 July 1975 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish violinist and conductor.


Szeps-Znaider was born in Copenhagen to Polish-Jewish parents. His father had originally emigrated from Poland to Israel, and his mother's family had settled in Denmark before World War II.[2] His teachers have included Milan Vitek and Boris Kuschnir.

In June 1992, Szeps-Znaider won the first prize of the 4th International Carl Nielsen International Music Competition. In 1995 he was awarded 3rd prize at International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. In 1997 he became a 1st prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels. He continued his violin studies with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School of Music.

In his conducting career, Szeps-Znaider counted Sir Colin Davis among his mentors. Szeps-Znaider has held principal guest conductor posts with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra.[3] In December 2017, Szeps-Znaider first guest-conducted the Orchestre national de Lyon. In December 2018, the ONL announced the appointment of Szeps-Znaider as its next music director, effective September 2020, with an initial contract of 4 seasons.[4]

Szeps-Znaider has made commercial recordings for such labels as RCA Victor Red Seal and LSO Live. His discography includes the following works:

Szeps-Znaider spent ten years as Founder and Artistic Director of the annual Nordic Music Academy summer school. He is now President of the Carl Nielsen Competition. He is also Viotti Visiting Professor of Music at the Royal Academy of Music, London.[6]

Szeps-Znaider plays the Guarneri “del Gesu” violin, built in 1741, on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundations, the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation. Previously played by Fritz Kreisler, the violin is thus known as the "Ex-Kreisler Guarnerius".


  1. ^ Szeps-Znaider has also used the name 'Nikolaj Znaider' professionally in the past.
  2. ^ Jessica Duchen (November 23, 2010). "Interview: Nikolaj Znaider". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider named Music Director in Lyon". Gramophone. 2018-12-03. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  4. ^ "Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider: nouveau directeur musical de l'ONL" (Press release). Ville de Lyon. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  5. ^ "Nikolaj Znaider/LSO: Mozart Violin Concertos nos.4&5". The Strad. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  6. ^ "Nikolaj Znaider appointed new Viotti Visiting Professor of Music" (Press release). Royal Academy of Music. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-06.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Leonard Slatkin
Music Director, Orchestre National de Lyon
Succeeded by