Antony Hermus was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra, starting an initial four-year term in September 2022 with a Designate year. He will conduct the orchestra both in their home in Brussels BOZAR and on tour internationally. He also holds the posts of Principal Guest Conductor of the North Netherlands Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Opera North. A leading figure in Dutch musical life, he conducts all the major orchestras in Holland including Royal Concertgebouw, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest and Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Hermus has an infectiously positive approach to music and life, and a natural talent for encouraging musicians and singers to give their very best. His dramatic flair, sense of line and clear-sighted approach have firmly established him in both the operatic and symphonic spheres.
His wide repertoire encompasses works by many living composers, and he has a particularly close relationship with Unsuk Chin whose Composer Portrait he conducted at Stockholm Tonsätterfestival and whose Piano Concerto he conducted with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Swedish Radio Symphony. He has also recently appeared with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, BBC Philharmonic, Danish National, Suisse Romande, Orquesta Castilla y Leon, Melbourne Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic; debut appearances in 2021/22 include the Orchestre National de Lyon (Ring, orchestral version) and the Orchestre National de Lille, and he will conduct several world-premieres (notably Rijnvos, Wagemans). A core focus of his tenure with the North Netherlands Orchestra has been their ongoing Mahler cycle together.
Hermus has conducted extensively and throughout his career in opera houses across Europe, notably in Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Gothenburg, at the Komische Oper Berlin, the Opéra de Paris studio, Essen and the Nederlandse Reisopera, as well as at Opera North; and was due to make his English National Opera debut in Spring 2020 with a new production of Rusalka, until the pandemic cut short the final rehearsals. He was Music Director in Dessau from 2009, where he was nominated “Conductor of the Year” by Opernwelt for three years in succession, ending his tenure in summer 2015 with his first Ring cycle and promotion to Honorary Conductor. Before Dessau he had progressed from Trainee-Repetiteur to Music Director (aged 29) in Hagen, winning many awards for his work there.
In 2017 CPO released his much-praised recording with the Bamberg Symphony of tone poems by the Dutch Romantic composer Alphons Diepenbrock, following their recording together of works by Siegmund von Hausegger. His discography on the same label includes works by Wagenaar, Klughardt, and Auber’s opera La Muette de Portici.
For Antony Hermus, music is an essential part of life and society. Always pushing the boundaries of traditional concert programming, Antony has been involved in numerous out-of-the-box-projects, such as Ligeti at the “Lowlands” rock festival and Symphonic Cinema (Mahler/Stravinsky). He was initiator of the award-winning “Scratch” concerts and of the first performances in Germany of “Tweetfonie” (52 world premieres on one day) during his Residency at the International Kurt Weill Festival.
Hermus started playing the piano at the age of six. He studied piano with Jacques de Tiège at the Brabant Music Conservatory and conducting with Jac van Steen and Georg Fritzsch. He is passionately committed to nurturing the next generation of young musicians; he is Visiting Professor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the “National Master of Orchestral Conducting” programme, as well as Artistic Advisor of the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands.
"Truly a top performance. An interpretation in which courage and quality competed for priority. Antony Hermus is the big trigger and driver of this courage. Hermus built the first part of the symphony with a master's hand. The string sound was to die for… unforgettable. The emotion was vibrating in the room. Magic."
Five stars. De Trouw, December 2019
"Antony Hermus’ superb conducting takes all the prizes in this new production from the Opera du Rhin…quick-silver, volcanic conducting”
Diapason, October 2019
“Hermus, who is one of today’s great motivators, led the Strasbourg orchestra with passion through the stormy sound world, demanding the utmost in focus and precision, resulting in wonderful flexibility and variety… The orchestra let themselves be carried along by Hermus, playing with great emotion and indeed chutzpa.”
Badische Zeitung, October 2019