Jean-François Verdier is a conductor, soloist, and composer.
Considered first and foremost as one of the best European clarinetists, he is a “super-soloist” (first principal) of the Opéra-Bastille / Opéra National de Paris, and has won numerous international competitions in various disciplines.
He has played under the baton of the greatest conductors: Seiji Ozawa, Valeryi Gergiev, Pierre Boulez, Paavo Järvi, Armin and Philippe Jordan, Kent Nagano, Gustavo Dudamel, Andris Nelsons or Esa-Pekka Salonen… The first time he played as a soloist was for the Copland concerto with Marin Alsop, in Toulouse.
He was mentored by Armin Jordan and Peter Eotveos, then served as executive assistant to Kent Nagano in Paris, and to Philippe Jordan in Vienna. He has been resident conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon and since 2011 he is the artistic director of the Orchestre Victor-Hugo with which he has recorded several discs which have won prestigious awards. His programs are praised for their originality and diversity.
He has directed more than 70 shows for the Opéra National de Paris, and is requested by Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, OCLausanne, Wiener Symphoniker, Bolshoi in Moscow, Nagoya Philharmonic, Teatro Real in Madrid.
He is a frequent collaborator of Susan Graham, Ludovic Tézier, Sandrine Piau, Karine Deshayes, Jodie Devos, Isabelle Faust, François Leleux, Emmanuel Pahud, Olivier Py, Jacques Gamblin, Anne-Thérésa de Keersmaeker, Baptiste Trotignon, Eric Génovèse, Jean-François Heisser, Pacho Flores, Antoine Tamestit, Alexandre Kantorow, etc.
He initially taught the clarinet at the superior conservatoire (CNSM) of Paris, and he is now professor of orchestral conducting at the Ecole Supérieure de Bourgogne Franche-Comté.
He is also a composer, specializing in works for children and young people. His pieces are performed in several countries (at the Dessau Opera, at the Munich Prinz-Regent, at the Opéra Bastille, and by the Opéra de Rouen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre national d’Avignon, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre national de Metz…). In 2019, the Capitole de Toulouse premiered with great success his first children’s opera Orphée.