Learn more about H&H's rich history and explore our interactive timeline.
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, recently named music director of the Columbus Symphony, has emerged as one of Canada’s brightest young conductors whose eloquent yet fiery style in repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary music results in regular re-engagements across North America. His association with Les Violons du Roy goes back 10 years, first as conductor-in-residence, then as associate conductor, and since 2008 as principal guest conductor. Over the years, he has led the ensemble in more than 200 performances in the province of Québec, across Canada and in Mexico. In 2006, he recorded his first CD with Les Violons du Roy entitled “Piazzolla” which received a JUNO Award for Classical Album Of The Year in the category Solo or Chamber Ensemble in 2007. They also recorded two subsequent CDs: ”Bartok” in 2008 and “Britten” in 2010.
2010/11 brings a slew of return engagements in North America. Highlights in Canada include a Werther production with the Montreal Opera, and engagements with the Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Quebec Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia and I Musici de Montréal in a rare guest-appearance. In the US, he conducts the Oregon Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and Rigoletto with the Cincinnati Opera.
Last season was a landmark year for the conductor with a long list of subscription debuts and return engagements. In Canada, he returned for three separate engagements with the Edmonton Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and the National Arts Center Orchestra. He appeared at the Lanaudière Festival and for the first time with the Toronto Symphony (conducting Handel’s Messiah and Bruckner’s 9th Symphony). In addition, he made subscription debuts with Winnipeg Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. In the US, he debuted in a subscription series with the Omaha Symphony, and returned to the San Antonio Symphony and Columbus Symphony.
2008/09 was another impressive season for Zeitouni. He made his subscription debut with numerous major orchestras, including the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and the symphonies of San Antonio, Oregon, and Omaha, as well as debuts at the Round Top Festival, Grant Park, and the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston. After his success the previous season, he returned to the Honolulu Symphony and made his annual appearances at the Lanaudière Festival, Canada’s most prestigious music festival. He also led several opera productions from the pit, among them Faust at Calgary Opera and Mozart’s Il re pastore with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
During the 2007/08 season, Zeitouni debuted with the Edmonton Opera in a production of Carmen. He also conducted Lucie de Lammermoor by Donizetti at Cincinnati Opera in its first staging of that work ever. Equally in demand on the symphonic stage, he guest-conducted the Honolulu Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Huntsville Symphony. He made his debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, returned to the Festival Lanaudière, the Montreal Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico. He also made his European debut conducting the Philharmonique de Marseille.
As part of his 2006/07 season, he conducted the highly anticipated world premiere of John Estacio and John Murrell’s Frobisher at Calgary Opera in a co-production with The Banff Centre. He also led Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Opéra de Québec, Suor Angelica, Il Tabarro, Il Mondo della luna and The Turn of the Screw at the Montreal Opera and he made his long-awaited debut with Glimmerglass Opera to lead Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach. On the symphonic stage he conducted on two separate occasions the Monterey Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and the Vancouver Cantata Singers in Handel’s Messiah.
From 2002-2006 Jean-Marie Zeitouni was associate conductor and chorus master at l’Opera de Montreal and was Music Director of their Young Artist Program. He was also music director of the Banff Centre “Opera as Theatre” program (2005-06), chorus master at l’Opéra de Québec (2003-05) and choir director of the Québec Symphony Orchestra (2001-03). He was as well director of the orchestra and opera workshop of the Faculty of Music at Laval University (1999-2002). In the summer of 2004, Zeitouni acted as assistant conductor at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City for the Jonathan Miller production of Così fan tutte.
Jean-Marie Zeitouni graduated from the Montreal Conservatory in conducting, percussion and theory. He studied with Maestro Raffi Armenian.