François-Xavier Roth is one of today’s most imaginative conductors and programmers, whether in his
roles as General Music Director of the City of Cologne and founder of Les Siècles, or with leading
orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, of which he is Principal Guest Conductor. A born
communicator, he is a charismatic and persuasive advocate for classical music of every description.
In Cologne, where he has directed both the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Opera since 2015, his
programming is notable for its breadth and depth, including new commissions alongside Baroque and
Romantic music. Roth upholds the orchestra’s pioneering heritage, which includes having given the
world premieres of Mahler’s Third and Fifth Symphonies, the Brahms Double Concerto, Strauss’s Don
Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel, and Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. For Cologne Opera he has led new
productions of Benvenuto Cellini, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Salome,
Béatrice et Bénédict and The Flying Dutchman.

His sense of musical exploration led him in 2003 to found Les Siècles, which performs contrasting
programmes on modern and period instruments, often within the same concert. Together, they have
toured Europe, China and Japan, appearing at the Berlin Musikfest, BBC Proms, Edinburgh and Enescu
festivals. In 2019, Les Siècles became resident orchestra of Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, where Roth is
also Artistic Director, and in 2022 they took up their new residency at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
Projects have included recreating the original sound of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Ravel’s Daphnis et
Chloé and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. Currently, Les Siècles are celebrating their 20th anniversary
with a series of European tours.

Roth is a champion of new music and has premiered works by Georg-Friedrich Haas and Hèctor Parra,
and collaborated with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Rihm, Jörg Widmann, Helmut
Lachenmann and Philippe Manoury. He has a leading role in the LSO’s Panufnik Composers Scheme,
mentoring young emerging composers.

Engagement with new audiences is an essential part of Roth’s work, whether speaking from the
podium or working with young people and amateurs. With the Festival Berlioz and Les Siècles, he
founded the Jeune Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz, which has its own collection of period
instruments and last year performed Les Troyens à Carthage in Berlioz’s birthplace. In Cologne he has
initiated a community orchestra and his Ohrenauf! youth programme was recipient of a Junge Ohren
Produktion Award. His television series Presto! attracted weekly audiences of over three million in

Roth’s prolific award-winning discography includes the complete tone poems of Richard Strauss,
Stravinsky ballets, Ravel and Berlioz cycles, Bruckner, Mahler and Schumann symphonies, and albums
commemorating Debussy’s centenary. He was awarded the German Record Critics’ Honorary Prize
2020, the youngest conductor ever to receive it. For his achievements as musician, conductor, music
director and teacher, François-Xavier Roth was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur.

General Music Director, City of Cologne (2015–present); Principal Guest Conductor of London
Symphony Orchestra (2017–present); Founder and Artistic Director of Les Siècles; Artistic Director of
Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing (2019–present); Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, SWR
Sinfonieorchester (from 2025)

Guest conducting appearances (2023–24)
Berlin Philharmonic, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre National de France, SWR
Sinfonieorchester, Boulez ensemble
Opera productions (2023–24)
Mozart: Die zauberflöte, Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel, Gounod: Faust, Ondrej Adamek: Ines (world
Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur (2017); German Record Critics’ Honorary Prize (2020).
With Les Siècles: Franco Abbiati Record Critics’ Award – IV edition 2022, Edison Klassiek Prize 2022;
Presto Music Recording of the Year 2020; German Record Critics’ Prize 2016, Gramophone Awards
Orchestral Album of the Year 2018; Victoires de la Musique Classique Recording of the Year 2018

Recent recording releases
Ravel: Bolero and L’heure espagnole with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Ligeti: Kammerkonzert with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Mahler: Symphony no.4 with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Ravel: Piano Concertos and Melodies with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Bruckner: Symphony no.7 with Gürzenich Orchestra (Myrios Classics)
Saint-Saëns: Symphony no.3 and Piano Concerto no. 4 with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Strauss: Don Quixote and Til Eulenspiegel with Gürzenich Orchestra (Harmonia Mundi)
Schumann: Symphonies nos.1 and 4 with Gürzenich Orchestra (Myrios Classics)
Beethoven: Symphony no.3 and Méhul: Overture, Les Amazones (Harmonia Mundi)

Beethoven: Symphony no.5 and Gossec Symphony in 17 Parts (Harmonia Mundi)
Debussy/Ravel with London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live)
Mussorgsky/Ravel with Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)
Saint-Saëns: Le Timbre d’argent with Les Siècles (Palazzetto Bru Zane)
Panufnik Legacies III with London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live)