Artistic and Musical Director of the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla since 2014, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi” since 2011, John Axelrod has been Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Theater (2004-2009), and Music Director of the l’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (2010-2013).
Since 2001, Mr. Axelrod has conducted over 160 orchestras around the world, 30 operas and 50 world premieres. Some of his relationships with European orchestras include Berlin’s Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Symphony Hamburg, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, RTSI Orchestra in Lugano, Camerata Salzburg, ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Grazer Philharmoniker.
John Axelrod’s opera activity includes Bernstein Candide at Théâtre du Châtelet and Teatro alla Scala, Dove opera Flight for Leipzig Oper, Tristan and Isolde for Angers/Nantes Opera, Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Die Dreigroschenoper, Der Kaiser von Atlantis e The Rake’s Progress at the Lucerne Festival. In 2014 he conducted Eugene Onegin at Teatro San Carlo in Naples and he opened the 2014 Spoleto Festival with Erwartung, La Dame de Monte Carlo and La Mort de Cléopâtre. In 2015 he conducted new productions of Candide for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the Rome Opera.
Mr. Axelrod is actively committed to working with young professional musicians, having toured with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra to the Salzburg Festival, with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana in Italy, the Accademia della Scala to Muscat, the NordDeutsche Junge Philharmonie in Germany, Sinfonia Iuventus in Poland and the Vienna Jeunesse Orchester in Austria.
Graduated in 1988 from Harvard University, trained by and in the tradition of Leonard Bernstein, he also studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Ilya Musin.