First Prize winner and Special Prize of the Orchestra at the 8th International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition, Nathanaël Iselin is a young French conductor currently based in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. He is the Conductor-in-Residence of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Nathanaël started his career as assistant conductor of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the first person to hold that position in Denmark. Shortly thereafter he won the prestigious Jorma Panula Competition in Finland. He was then appointed Conductor in Residence of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra for the 2022/2023 season. Nathanaël recently had debuts with the Orchestre National de Montpellier, the Aalborg Symphony, Lahti Symphony, Sønderjylland Symphony, (Ravel Ma Mère l’Oye, Bruckner 3rd, Mozart 31st), and will soon conduct the Odense Symphony, Picardie Orchestra, Vaasa Symphony and Jyväskylä Symphony. Back in 2019 he conducted the Copenhagen Philharmonic in a performance for Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark.
On various other occasions Nathanaël had the chance to conduct such orchestras as the Orchestre National de France, the Singapore Symphony, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Danish Radio, the Finnish Radio, Helsinki Philharmonic, Philharmonie Konstanz.
In March 2023 he will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, as part of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition.
On the lyrical scene, Nathanaël regularly conducts at Opera Hedeland, Denmark, where he led fully-staged youth audience productions of Carmen and Rigoletto. He recently recorded Peter Heise’s opera Drot og Marsk. He will return in 2023 to conduct the main production of La Cenerentola. He also worked at the Bern Opera, Switzerland, as a second conductor and assistant for a production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.
Nathanaël Iselin has studied orchestra conducting in four of the most prestigious music universities in Europe : the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, the Hochschule der Künste in Zürich and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Whilst a student he has been mentored by such renowned conductors as Iván Fischer, Mariss Jansons, Fabio Luisi, Susanna Mälkki, Sakari Oramo, Michael Schønwandt, Giordano Bellincampi, Johannes Schlaefli, Thomas Søndergård, Alexander Vedernikov, Simone Young and Jaap van Zweden.
His studies at the Paris Conservatoire have given him both a love of and an insight into the music of French impressionism such as Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye. Considering himself a citizen of Europe, he has lived in Denmark, Switzerland, France, Iceland, the Netherlands and Finland, taking the chance to deepen his love for Finnish music – Sibelius and Rautavaara in particular.
As a percussionist, he has performed with the Ensemble Intercontemporain-CNSMDP, the Limoges Opera, the Nouvelle Europe Orchestra, led by conductors such as David Zinman, Dennis Russell Davies and Matthias Pintscher.