Already renowned in the music field, he has garnered three coveted Prix Opus prizes, namely the Découverte de l'année in 1999 and Prix du public in both 1999 and 2000, awarded by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He is the recipient of the 2000 Virginia Parker Prize, given by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Born in Montreal in 1975, Yannick Nézet-Séguin began piano lessons at the age of five and later entered the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal where he studied piano with Anisia Campos. He also learned composition, chamber music, and conducting. In all, he received five first prizes from this institution. While attending the Conservatoire, Yannick Nézet-Séguin studied choral conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He continued his training near a number of famous conductors, among them the great Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini during 1997 and 1998.
In April 2000, he was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. He is also Guest Conductor at L'Opéra de Montréal where, between 1998 and 2002, he was Chorus Master, Assistant Conductor and Musical Adviser. Productions he has conducted since 2000 include Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore, Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri and Puccini's La Bohème. In 1995, he founded the vocal and instrumental ensemble La Chapelle de Montréal.
In Canada, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been invited to conduct the Montreal Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, Les Violons du Roy, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, Opéra Ontario, l'Opéra de Québec, the Edmonton Symphony, the Orchestra London in Ontario. He made his US debuts at Sarasota Opera in Florida conducting eight performances of Cosi fan Tutte in 2001-2002 and seven performances of Les Pêcheurs de perles in 2002-2003.
In November 2004 he made his European debut with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse followed by a concert with the Flemish Radio Orchestra. In both cases Yannick was immediately offered re-invitations for the 2005 - 06 season. Forthcoming engagements this season include concerts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and for 2005-06 the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Göteborgs Symfoniker, his UK debut with the City or Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart and National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.
In opera Yannick will conduct a production of Faust at the Vancouver Opera in April 2006, and in May 2006 he will conduct fully staged performances of Wozzeck, in an arrangement for chamber orchestra, with the Orchestre Métropolitain.
His latest recording of Mahler Symphony no.4 with his Orchestre Métropolitain is released on the Atma Classique label and their recording of Nino Rota's La Strada and concertos was awarded two Opus prizes for best recording of the Year. Yannick's remarkable musical achievements in the 2003/2004 season have just earned him three of Canada's top prizes, the Opus Awards. At the recent ceremony, he was cited for Musician of the year; Concert of the year outside Montreal and Quebec City; and for Record of the year - classical, romantic, post-romantic or impressionist.