Sir Mark Elder passes the conductor’s baton at RNCM

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) announces the appointment of world-renowned conductor Professor Nicolás Pasquet as its new International Chair in Conducting, taking over from Sir Mark Elder. 

After 22 years in the role, Sir Mark is succeeded by Professor Pasquet, who comes to the RNCM from the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar, Germany, where he has been Professor of Conducting for 30 years and chief conductor of the symphony orchestra. Since 2009, Professor Pasquet has also served as chief conductor of German youth orchestra Landesjugendsinfonieorchester (LJSO) Hessen. 

Nicolas Pasquet teaching students at the RNCM

Born in Uruguay and trained in violin and orchestral conducting in Montevideo and Stuttgart, he won the Besançon International Conducting Competition in 1987 and served as a lecturer at the Meistersinger Conservatory in Nuremberg before moving to Weimar. From September, Professor Pasquet will additionally hold the Zubin Mehta Chair of Conducting at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain. 

During his extraordinary career, he has served as chief conductor for Symphony Orchestra of Pécs, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, and Coburg State Theater Orchestra, and worked extensively with renowned orchestras across Germany (Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, NDR Hanover Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic) and much of Europe (notably Orchestre du Capitole Toulouse, Orchestre Lamoureux Paris, and Orchestra of the Allgemeine Musikgesellschaft Basel), as well as in Australia, South America, and the USA. 

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Pasquet said: ‘After so many years of cooperation with the wonderful team and conducting class at the RNCM, I feel happy and honoured to join the team as International Chair of Conducting. I am looking forward to starting next academic year!’ 

Professor Mark Heron, RNCM’s Head of Conducting, added: ‘For several years my colleague, Clark Rundell, and I have been doing ERASMUS exchanges with Nico and he has become a great friend of our department. He is an outstanding teacher, and we greatly look forward to a deeper relationship with him over the coming years.  

‘I would also like to say an enormous thank-you to our outgoing International Chair, Sir Mark Elder, who stands down from his position as Music Director of the Hallé this summer. Mark’s commitment to the College since his appointment in 2002 has been nothing short of phenomenal and we look forward to continuing our relationship on his visits to Manchester as Conductor Emeritus of the Hallé.’ 

4 July 2024