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Francois-Xavier Roth takes up baton as LSO's principal guest conductor


The London Symphony Orchestra, performing in Trafalgar Square, central London

The London Symphony Orchestra, performing in Trafalgar Square, central London

The London Symphony Orchestra, performing in Trafalgar Square, central London

The London Symphony Orchestra has appointed Francois-Xavier Roth as its principal guest conductor.

Mr Roth, who became the LSO's assistant conductor after winning the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2000, will take up the role from September.

The Paris-born conductor has also dedicated himself to giving young and emerging composers a chance to break into the industry by being closely involved in the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme since its launch in 2006, as well as music education and community programme LSO Discovery.

In 2012, Mr Roth's work with an orchestra of young people from East London through LSO Discovery was showcased at the London Olympic Opening Ceremony, where they performed Elgar's Nimrod alongside members of the LSO.

Mr Roth said: "It is an immense honour and a deep joy for me to accept the LSO's invitation to become their principal guest conductor from the start of next season.

"I have always had the greatest admiration for this orchestra.

"It is one of the great orchestras of the world, and their incomparable energy for making music has been an extraordinary source of inspiration for me.

"I am looking forward to the many musical adventures that we will take on together and excited by the dialogue already begun with the musicians themselves and of course with Sir Simon Rattle, alongside whom it is a great privilege to work with this fabulous ensemble.

"Seventeen years after having been their assistant conductor as a result of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, and conducting each year since numerous concerts with them, it is a particular thrill to strike up this new phase with the marvellous LSO."

Mr Roth also holds a prestigious role in Germany as general music director of the City of Cologne and from 2011 to 2016 was p rincipal conductor of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg and Baden-Baden.

In 2003 he founded the innovative orchestra Les Siecles, whose unique approach to modern and period instrument performance has been seen at the BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall and the Aldeburgh Music Festival, and he works with other international orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Boston Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw.

Mr Roth's four-part series which launched in 2016 exploring the change in music at the turn of the 20th Century, After Romanticism, continues on March 30 and April 23 at London's Barbican and in 2018 he will lead the LSO's concerts marking the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy.

He takes over in his new role from Daniel Harding, who is stepping down after serving in the job for 10 years, and he will work alongside the orchestra's other principal guest conductor, Gianandrea Noseda.

PA Media