Jean-Marie Zeitouni, music director of the Columbus Symphony since 2010 and principal conductor and artistic director of I Musici de Montréal since 2011, has emerged as one of Canada’s brightest young conductors with an eloquent yet fiery style that results in regular re-engagements across North America. Also principle guest conductor with Les Violons du Roy, 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 2007 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year in the category of Solo or Chamber Ensemble. They also recorded two subsequent CDs—Bartok (2008) and Britten (2010).
Next season promises another active guest-conducting schedule that brings him to the Calgary Philharmonic, the symphonies of Montreal, Edmonton, and Victoria, as well as the Grand Rapids Symphony among others. He will also conduct Offenbach’s opera La belle Hélène in the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse.
Audiences in 2011-12 saw him conduct the major Canadian orchestras, including subscription concerts with the Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Montreal Symphony, as well as a return to the Edmonton Symphony. In the US, he led the Seattle Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and Handel & Haydn Society, and bowed in the pit of the St. Louis Opera for a Così fan tutte production in June 2012.
2010-11 highlights in Canada included 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 conducted the Oregon Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Rigoletto with the Cincinnati Opera.
In Canada, he returned in 2009-10 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.
Earlier highlights in the opera pit included Faust at Calgary Opera, his debut with Edmonton Opera in Carmen, Mozart’s Ilre pastore with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Lucie de Lammermoor at Cincinnati Opera in its first-ever staging of that work. Symphonic concerts of note were his subscription debuts with the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the symphonies of San Antonio, Oregon, and Omaha in addition to his European conducting debut with the Philharmonique de Marseille.
From 2002-06, 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 also 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.