Yan Pascal Tortelier (born 19 April 1947) is a French conductor and violinist. Born in Paris, he is the son of the cellist Paul Tortelier, and the brother of Maria de la Pau. Tortelier began piano and violin studies at age 4. At age 14, he was a first-prize winner for violin at the Paris Conservatoire.[1]

Tortelier has worked and recorded extensively in the United Kingdom. He was principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 1989 to 1992. He served as Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester from 1992 to 2003, and now has the title of conductor emeritus with the orchestra. He has also been a Principal Guest Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYOGB).

Tortelier served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2008. He was principal conductor of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) from 2009 to 2011, and had the title of honorary guest conductor with the OSESP from 2011 to 2013. Tortelier first guest-conducted the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO) in 1998. In October 2015, the ISO announced the appointment of Tortelier as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2016–2017 season, with an contract of 3 years.[2] Tortelier ended his tenure with the orchestra in June 2019, to be succeeded by Eva Ollikainen in 2020.

Tortelier's recordings include his own orchestration of Ravel's Trio. He is a regular recording artist for Chandos Records, and has conducted commercial recordings for Chandos with the BBC Philharmonic,[3] the BBC Symphony Orchestra,[4] and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra.[5] On Plasson's 1978 recording of Orphée aux enfers he plays the violin solos.


  1. ^ Rosanna Greenstreet (1 January 1999). "The questionnaire: Yan Pascal Tortelier". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Yan Pascal Tortelier Named Chief Conductor" (Press release). Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveitar Íslands). 6 October 2015. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  3. ^ Andrew Clements (29 September 2000). "The distiller of dreams". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  4. ^ Andrew Clements (28 October 2010). "Ravel: The Piano Concertos; Debussy: Fantaisie; etc – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  5. ^ Fiona Maddocks (3 July 2011). "Schmitt: La tragédie de Salomé; Le palais hanté; Psaume 47 – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015.

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Cultural offices
Preceded by
Vernon Handley
Principal Conductor, Ulster Orchestra
Succeeded by
Dmitry Sitkovetsky
Preceded by
Edward Downes
Chief Conductor, BBC Philharmonic
Succeeded by
Gianandrea Noseda
Preceded by
John Neschling
Principal Conductor, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo
Succeeded by
Marin Alsop