The Orchestre national de Lyon in brief

Since September 2020, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider has been Music Director of the Orchestre national de Lyon (ONL) and its 104 resident musicians.

The ONL, originally the Société des Grands Concerts de Lyon, was founded in 1905 by Georges Martin Witkowski. It gained residency in 1969 at the instigation of the City of Lyon’s cultural councillor, Robert Proton de la Chapelle. Louis Frémaux, the ONL’s original Music Director (1969-1971), was succeeded by Serge Baudo (1971-1987), Emmanuel Krivine (1987-2000), David Robertson (2000-2004), Jun Märkl (2005-2011) and Leonard Slatkin (2011- 2017), currently Conductor Laureate. The ONL enjoys the privilege of rehearsing and performing in a dedicated concert hall, the 2,100-seat Lyon Auditorium.

Recognised for its performances of Ravel, Debussy and Berlioz, the ONL explores a varied repertoire ranging from the 18th century to the present day. It regularly commissions contemporary composers, such as Kaija Saariaho, Thierry Escaich, Guillaume Connesson and, this season, its Composer-in-Association, Brett Dean. The richness of its repertoire is reflected in an extensive discography, notably under the Naxos label.

With characteristic verve, the ONL has charted new territory with its live cinema concerts, ranging from epic sagas such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars to silent film classics. It plays an active role in educational and outreach initiatives, and is committed to affordable pricing for youth audiences, ambitious projects for schools and families, and a new education and outreach facility that hosts year-round sound workshops.

In 2017/2018, the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon launched the Démos project, a socially-oriented musical and orchestral outreach programme in the Lyon metropolitan area.

In addition to its concerts in the Auditorium, the ONL performs in the world’s leading concert venues. In 1979, it was the first European symphony orchestra to perform in China. In recent months, it has played in the main cities in Germany (Berlin Philharmony, Leipzig, Munich), China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou) and Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg). In 2020/2021 he should have toured Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon

04 78 95 95 95
149 rue Garibaldi
69003 Lyon

The Auditorium and the Orchestre national de Lyon: music in the heart of the city. 160 concerts per season : symphonic concerts, recitals, films in concerts, family concerts, jazz, contemporary and world music, but also workshops, conferences, afterworks ...