I was shocked when I found out that French conductor Lionel Bringuier, who makes his San Francisco Symphony debut tonight, performed live on French TV as a 14-year-old boy for the Victoires de la Musique (the local equivalent of the Grammys). Impressive. (Also: live classical music during prime time? How quaint).
Bringuier, now 27, did not stop there. He went on to win the Besancon Conducting Competition, a big deal also won by Osmo Vänskä who just completed a series with the SF Symphony, or former SFS music director Seiji Osawa. He became assistant/resident conductor with the LA Phil in 2007 learning from music directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. He's now chief conductor designate and music director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. Tonight he'll bring his Gallic flair to Ravel and Dutilleux, as well as a Brahms piano concerto with sa compatriote Hélène Grimaud at the keys.