Joseph Bastian

Guest Conductor


Joseph Bastian
Principal Conductor

The Asian Youth Orchestra warmly welcomes as principal conductor one of the most exciting talents of the younger generation, French-Swiss conductor Joseph Bastian.

The former bass trombonist of the Symphonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bastian burst into the international spotlight in February 2016, when he stepped in at the last moment to conduct the orchestra in three subscription concerts – replacing an indisposed Robin Ticciati – with the blessing of his Chief Conductor and conducting mentor, Mariss Jansons. 

Embracing a demanding programme of Brahms, Berg, and Elgar, Bastian “took over in a very sovereign way as a conductor, transforming this unexpected debut into an artistic triumph” (Abendzeitung München).  The event was widely heralded as a “sensational debut” – and Bastian was immediately re-invited.

Born in France to a French-Swiss family, Bastian began his musical journey by studying the cello, trombone, and composition.  After studies in trombone at the University of Music Saar, he performed as a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez, and the Orchestra of the Academy of the Munich Philharmonic, before taking up his position as Principal Bass Trombonist with the BRSO.


During his tenure with the Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bastian was mentored in his own conducting studies by Mariss Jansons, with whom he worked closely as an Assistant Conductor. He also worked as an Assistant to Daniel Harding and Vladimir Jurowski (London Philharmonic Orchestra), whilst receiving masterclasses and support from such artists as Bernard Haitink and and David Zinman.  Bastian further honed his skills as Chief Conductor of the Abaco-Orchestra of the University of Munich (2011-2018), touring the orchestra to such major European venues as Musikverein Wien.  


He was awarded the prestigious Neeme Järvi Prize at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy (2016), and went on to take the Gstaad Festival Orchestra on international tour during the 2016/2017 season.  In spring 2018, Bastian took the decision to resign his position as Principal Bass Trombone, in order to dedicate himself fully to developing his rapidly expanding career on the conducting podium.


Highlights of the 2017/2018 season included successful debuts with the Bremer Philharmoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Münchener Kammerorchester and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.


Following the success of the last-minute substitution that launched his career, in March 2018 Bastian stepped up to the mark again in three (debut) subscription concerts with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker – this time replacing Principal Guest Conductor Alexandre Bloch – with a programme that included the world premiere of Fredrik Högberg’s Violin Concerto, to great critical acclaim.


The 2018/2019 season sees returns to the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and Sinfonie Orchestra Basel as well as two return engagements with the Symphonieorchestra des Bayerischen Rundfunks – whom he will conduct at the beginning of the season and in the finals of the prestigious ARD International Music Competition, then closing the season with a programme of Boulez and Reich. 


Debuts this season include Bamberger Symphoniker and HR-Sinfonieorchester, and Bastian will also cross continents for the first time: making his Asian debut on a Japanese tour with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.