The French conductor, François-Xavier Roth, was born into a musical family. His father is the organist Daniel Roth. His brother Vincent Roth is a violist. Before turning to conducting, Roth was a flutist. He graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where his teachers included Alain Marion and János Fürst. In 2000, Roth won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, which led to his appointment as Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for two years. He has also served as an assistant conductor to John Eliot Gardiner.
François-Xavier Roth is one of the most charismatic and enterprising conductors of his generation. His repertoire ranges from music of the 17th century to contemporary work and encompasses all genres: symphonic, operatic and chamber.
In 2003, François-Xavier Roth founded the innovative orchestra Les Siècles, which performs contrasting and colourful programmes on modern and period instruments as appropriate, often within the same concert. With Les Siècles, he has given concerts in France, Italy, Germany, England and Japan. They were awarded a Diapason Découverte for their CD of music by Georges Bizet and Chabrier, recorded for Mirare. They also recorded the Hans Zender arrangement of Schubert's Die Winterreise. More recently, on the orchestra's own label Les Siècles Live, he has released works by Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique), Camille Saint-Saëns, Martin Matalon, Igor Stravinsky and Franz Liszt. Roth and Les Siècles devised their own television series for France 2 entitled Presto! The primetime programmes - short introductions to popular classical works - attracted a weekly audience of over three million viewers during its three-year run. To mark the centenary of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Roth and Les Siècles presented four concerts at the Cité de la musique in Paris, the Théâtre de Nîmes and the Abbaye de Royaumont in 2010, including the restored score of the composite ballet Les Orientales and a period-instrument performance of I. Stravinsky's The Firebird.
François-Xavier Roth began a three-year term as Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) in 2008. As of the 2011-2012 season, he continues in that post with the BBC NOW. Roth was music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège (OPL) for the 2009-2010 season. Roth first conducted the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden & Freiburg) in March 2009. In April 2010, the SWR Sinfonieorchester announced the appointment of Roth as its next Principal Conductor, effective from September 2011.
Recent and forthcoming highlights include a tour of Japan with SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden & Freiburg and concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Dresdner Philharmonie, Bergen Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. With Les Siècles, Roth has recently appeared at the Cologne Philharmonie, the Klara Festival in Brussels, the Rheingau Festival and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Equally committed to the world of opera, his period-instrument performances of Ambroise Thomas' Mignon (2010) and Offenbach's Les Brigands (2011) at the Opéra Comique in Paris and Mozart's Idomeneo (2012) at the Luxembourg Opera were greeted by critical acclaim. Future opera engagements will include a return to Opéra Comique with a new production of Léo Delibes' Lakmé.