Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra.

(Photo: Jessica Griffin)

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin is the new music director of the Metropolitan Opera, the organization announced today.

Colorado audiences know Nézet-Séguin from his work conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra each summer at Bravo! Vail. He’ll retain his title as music director of that symphony.

The 41-year-old will serve as the Met’s music director designate in 2017-18, assuming the music director title starting in the 2020-21 season. He replaces James Levine, the Met’s music director for the past 40 years.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer explains, it’s a huge honor for a conductor to lead both organizations:

With the Met appointment, Nézet-Séguin, an upstart just a few years ago, will be heading two of classical music's most prestigious institutions, putting both the opera and orchestra worlds at his feet.

"The conductors I have admired all my life divided their time between those two repertoires, and for me it's a question of keeping those two poles but actually making them geographically closer," Nézet-Séguin said this week in a call from Tokyo while on the Philadelphia Orchestra's Asian tour.

"So we happen to have a short train ride away between the two cities [with] arguably the two greatest organizations, symphonic and operatic, in our country. Of course, I feel very lucky I can do this."

Nézet-Séguin’s announcement follows a big appointment for another familiar face at Bravo! Vail. In January, the New York Philharmonic announced their new music director will be conductor Jaap van Zweden, who’s currently music director of the Dallas Symphony. Both the New York Phil and the Dallas Symphony perform each summer in Vail.

Colorado listeners can see Nézet-Séguin in action with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Bravo! Vail. Highlights of his schedule include Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony on July 15 and Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony on July 16.

More more summer classical music highlights, check out CPR Classical’s guide to the 2016 festival season.