Thomas Søndergård

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Francesco Piemontesi and Thomas Sondergard rehearsing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Royal Albert Hall, London. Piemontesi Sondergard.jpg
Francesco Piemontesi and Thomas Søndergård rehearsing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Royal Albert Hall, London.

Thomas Søndergård (born 4 October 1969 in Holstebro, Denmark) is a Danish conductor and percussionist.



Søndergård studied percussion at the Royal Danish Academy of Music from 1989 to 1992, where his teachers included Gert Mortensen. In the same years, he was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Søndergård joined the Royal Danish Orchestra as a percussionist in 1992. He served on the faculty of the Royal Danish Academy of Music from 2001 to 2002.

Søndergård devoted greater attention to conducting from age 27. [1] After his debut at The Royal Danish Opera with the premiere of Poul Ruders's Kafka's Trial in 2005, he joined Askonas Holt management. In 2009, Søndergård became principal conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK). He concluded his KORK tenure after the 2011-2012 season. [2]

Career in the UK

Søndergård first conducted the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) in December 2009, as an emergency substitute for Thierry Fischer. In July 2011, Søndergård was named the 14th principal conductor of the BBC NOW, effective with the 2012-2013 season, for an initial contract of four years. [3] [4] In February 2016, the BBC NOW announced the further extension of his contract as principal conductor through "at least 2018". [5] Søndergård formally concluded his tenure as principal conductor of the BBC NOW in July 2018. [6]

Søndergård first guest-conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in 2009, as an emergency substitute for Yakov Kreizberg. In October 2011, the RSNO named him its principal guest conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of three years for three programmes per year. [7] In May 2017, the RSNO announced Søndergård's appointment as its next principal conductor, effective with the 2018-2019 season. [8] In February 2021, the RSNO announced the extension of Søndergård's contract as music director through autumn 2024. [9] In April 2023, the RSNO announced a one-year extension of his contract as music director through the 2024-2025 season. [10]

In December 2021, Søndergård first guest-conducted the Minnesota Orchestra. He returned for another guest-conducting engagement in April 2022. In July 2022, the orchestra announced Søndergård's appointment as its music director, effective with the 2023-2024 season, with an initial contract of five seasons. [11]

Søndergård has made several recordings for the Linn label [12] and the DaCapo label, including music of Bent Lorentzen, Per Nørgård, and Poul Ruders. [13]

Personal life

In July 2022, Søndergård married his longtime partner, the Swedish baritone Andreas Landin. [11]

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  1. Karen Price (2011-07-15). "Scandinavian cool: conductor Thomas Søndergård". Western Mail. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  2. Fred Olav Vatne (2011-07-12). "KORK må finne ny sjefdirigent". Norwegian Radio. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  3. "BBC National Orchestra of Wales announces new Principal Conductor" (Press release). BBC. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  4. Peter Collins (2011-07-12). "Great Dane to be chief BBC National Orchestra Wales conductor". Western Mail. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  5. "BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales' Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård extends his contract" (Press release). BBC. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  6. Tim Ashley (2018-07-23). "BBCNOW/Thomas Søndergård review – bowing out in style". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  7. "Thomas Søndergård joins RSNO Artistic Team" (Press release). Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  8. Keith Bruce (2017-05-25). "RSNO names its new Music Director". The Herald. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  9. "RSNO and Thomas Søndergård announce three-year contract extension for Music Director at launch of Spring/Summer Digital Season" (Press release). Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  10. "Thomas Søndergård extends RSNO Music Director contract" (Press release). Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 26 April 2023. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  11. 1 2 "Thomas Søndergård Appointed Minnesota Orchestra's 11th Music Director" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 28 July 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  12. Fiona Maddocks (2015-04-12). "Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 7 CD review – intense and rigorous". The Observer. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  13. Anthony Tommasini (2011-06-10). "Poul Ruders". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Rolf Gupta
Principal Conductor, Norwegian Radio Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by Principal Conductor, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Succeeded by