L.A. Phil’s Lionel Bringuier lands conducting gig in Zurich

Lionel Bringuier conducts Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl on Aug. 02, 2011.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Lionel Bringuier, resident conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has been made the chief conductor and music director of Switzerland’s Zurich Tonhalle. His post will begin with the 2014-15 season and will run for four years.

“This is wonderful news for both Lionel Bringuier and the Zurich Tonhalle,” said L.A. Philharmonic President Deborah Borda via email.

“Lionel has been a member of our LA Phil family for 6 years now and we could not be more thrilled for him. The Tonhalle is a distinguished orchestra with a storied past, and we know that Lionel will bring the same passion and commitment to making great music there as we have experienced with him.

“We also look forward to a continuing relationship with him well into the future.”


It’s the first major post for the 26-year-old Bringuier, who was born in Nice, France – and a high profile one at that. The Tonhalle Orchestra is one of Switzerland’s leading orchestras, founded in 1868. Boasting more than 100 musicians, it has played concerts internationally.

In recent years, under music director David Zinman and as part of an effort to draw younger audiences, the orchestra started a Friday disco night, known as “Tonhalle Late.”

Bringuier will also make debut appearances for the 2012-13 season with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid.

At the Zurich Tonhalle, he’ll work with Ilona Schmiel, who is coming on board as the general director of the Tonhalle Society Zurich for the 2014-15 season.

Bringuier will replace Zinman, who has been with the orchestra since 1995.

There will be a news conference on Friday at the Tonhalle in Zurich to introduce Bringuier and Schmiel.

Bringuier is in his sixth season with the L.A. Philharmonic. He has four upcoming concert dates at the Walt Disney Concert Hall: a Green Umbrella concert on Dec. 4 and performances with the L.A. Phil from April 26 to 28.


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