The Swiss conductor, Philippe Jordan, is the son of conductor Armin Jordan. He he began to study piano at age 6. At age 8, he joined the Zürcher Sängerknaben. He has acknowledged that he wished to become a conductor, like his father, at age 9.[ His violin studies began at age 11. At 16, he entered the Zürich Conservatory where he obtained his diploma in piano instruction, with honors. He studied theory and composition with the Swiss composer Hans Ulrich Lehmann and continued his piano studies with Karl Engel. At the same time, he worked as an assistant to Jeffrey Tate on Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Châtelet in Paris.
In the 1994-1995 season, Philippe Jordan was appointed First Kapellmeister and assistant to Music director James Allen Gähres at the Theater Ulm. The following year, he made his debut at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He has since conducted at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Châtelet in Paris, the Semperoper in Dresden and the Aix-en-Provence International Festival.
From September 1998 to June 2001, Philippe Jordan was Kapellmeister and assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Unter den Linden). He held the position of Chief Conductor of the Graz Opera and Graz Philharmonic Orchestra from September 2001 to June 2004.
In the 2001-2002 season, Philippe Jordan made his USA operatic debut conducting Camille Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila at the Houston Grand Opera and his UK operatic debut conducting Georges Bizet's Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In the 2002-2003 season, he made his debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his first conducting appearance at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in April 2004, and at the Bastille Opera in Paris in October 2004. His first appearances at the Salzburg Festival took place in the summer of 2004. Jordan conducted pieces by Dvorak, Smetana and L.v. Beethoven in his December 2007 debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. During that period, he also debuted at many of other important international opera houses and festival, including the Wiener Staatsoper, and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. From 2006 to 2010, he served as Principal Guest Conductor of Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and in summer 2012 he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival leading a production of Parsifal.
In October 2007, Jordan was named the Music Director of the Opéra National de Paris, starting with the 2009-2010 season. In October 2011, Jordan's contract with the Opéra National de Paris was extended through July 2018. In April 2015, the Opéra National de Paris further extended Jordan's contract through 2021.
In October 2011, Jordan was named Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker (Vienna Symphony Orchestra), effective with the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. In December 2016, the orchestra announced the extension of Jordan's contract as chief conductor through the 2020-2021 season. In July 2017, the Wiener Staatsoper announced the appointment of Jordan as its next Music Director, effective with the 2020-2021 season. In August 2017, the Metropolitan Opera announced that he would lead a revival of Der Ring des Nibelungen for the 2018-2019 season.
Phillipe Jordan is counted among the best established and most sought-after conductors of his generation. As a symphonic conductor, he has worked with such renowned orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker and Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and the Salzburg Mozarteumorchester.
In his work with the Wiener Symphoniker, Phillipe Jordan has developed complete cycles of L.v. Beethoven’s symphonies and piano concerti (combined with the large orchestral works of Béla Bartók) and the symphonies of Schubert. In addition to this, he has been work on a cycle of the great masses and oratorios by J.S. Bach. In the 2016-2017 season, he led the orchestra in performances of the complete L.v. Beethoven's Symphonies in Vienna’s Musikverein. This is followed up in 2017-2018 by an additional Beethoven Symphony Cycle in the Vienna Konzerthaus, along with a three-part Bruckner project in which the composer’s 7th, 8th and 9th Symphonies will be presented in contrasting dialog with classic works of the modern period by as György Kurtág, Ligeti and Sclesi.
Following successful productions at the Opéra de Paris in the 2016-2017 season of Samson et Daliah, Les Contes des Hoffmann, Lohengrin and W.A. Mozart's Così fan tutte, Phillipe Jordan will continue his tenure as Music Director with productions of Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Carlos (in the original French), Benvenutto Cellini and Parsifal. This summer, he conducted a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Bayreuth.
Phillipe Jordan has also been active as a recording artist releasing recordings such as: Carmen (Glyndebourne Festival), Werther (Wiener Staatsoper), Doktor Faust (Opernhaus Zürich) und Salomé (Royal Opera Covent Garden), Tannhäuser (Baden-Baden) und W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Opéra de Paris). His recording of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Opéra de Paris was awarded the “CHOC de l’année” Prize for Classical Music DVDs. In addition to operatic recordings, he has recorded extensively for the Naïve label, including the complete L.v. Beethoven's piano concerti with François-Frédéric Guy at the piano and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony with orchestra of the Opéra de Paris, which was received the “CHOC de l’année Classica” award. Additionally, his release of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was honored with the CHOC du Monde de la Musique“ Prize. On the Erato label, Jordan he and the orchestra of the Opéra de Paris have recently released recordings of Verdi’s Requiem and symphonic excerpts from Wagner’s Ring and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe and La Valse. In 2016 his last recording of the Beethoven cycle was released on DVD. His recording work with the Wiener Symphoniker includes discs of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique” (September 2014) and Schubert’s 7th and 8th symphonies (August 2015). A recording of all L.v. Beethoven's symphonies is planned to be completed by the end of the 250th anniversary of L.v. Beethoven in 2020.
In addition to conducting, Phillipe Jordan also performs as a pianist in recital and chamber music, such as at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg.