Joseph Bastian


Swiftly emerging as one of the most exciting talents of the younger generation, French-Swiss conductor Joseph Bastian is widely celebrated for his “total precision, and calm and masterful manner”, renowned for the remarkable and tangible sense of partnership he creates with orchestral musicians.

The former Principal Bass Trombonist of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (‘BRSO’) (2004-2017), Joseph Bastian burst into the international spotlight in February 2016, when he stepped in at the last moment to conduct the orchestra in three subscription concerts – replacing an indisposed Robin Ticciati – with the blessing of his Chief Conductor and conducting supporter, Mariss Jansons. Embracing a demanding programme of Brahms, Berg, and Elgar, Bastian “took over in a very sovereign way as a conductor, transforming this unexpected debut into an artistic triumph” (Abendzeitung München).

The event was widely heralded as a “sensational debut” – and Joseph Bastian was immediately re-invited.  Joseph Bastian’s recent projects with the BRSO have included conducting the finals of the ARD International Music Competition (2018), and a contemporary programme of Boulez and Reich. During the performance of the latter, Joseph Bastian was awarded the prestigious Eugen-Jochum-Preis for Conducting (2019).

Forthcoming highlights of the 2019/2020 season and beyond include debuts with Dresdner Philharmonie, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg, Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and a Zurich Opera production of Haydn’s “Il mondo della Luna” with the Musikkollegium Winterthur. This follows on from the success the 2018/2019 season, which saw Joseph Bastian make major debuts across Greater China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan, on tour with the Asian Youth Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

In Europe, his recent guest conducting portfolio includes debuts with/returns to such leading orchestras as Bamberger Symphoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, Bremer Philharmoniker, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Münchener Kammerorchester, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and the Nürnberger Symphoniker, amongst others.

Born in France to a French-Swiss family, Joseph Bastian began his musical journey by studying the cello, trombone, and composition. After studies in trombone at the University of Music Saar, he performed as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez, and the Orchestra of the Academy of the Munich Philharmonic, before taking up his position as Principal Bass Trombonist with the BRSO.