The World's Leading
Pop & Jazz Orchestra

Winner of 4 Grammy Awards
20 Grammy Nominations

MO has three permanent world-class conductors from August 2020

Picture by Ryu Voelkel
Picture by Pamela Fong
Picture by Hiroyuki Seo

The Metropole Orkest is starting a new era, as of august “the world’s leading pop & jazz orchestra” has chosen to appoint three leading conductors. Current chief conductor Jules Buckley will remain with the orchestra as honorary conductor and will be accompanied by honorary conductor Vince Mendoza and permanent guest conductor Miho Hazama.

The position of the current British chief conductor Jules Buckley (40) will change to honorary conductor. American conductor Vince Mendoza (58) – predecessor of Buckley as chief conductor has also renewed his commitment to the Metropole Orkest. Furthermore, the talented young Japanese conductor Miho Hazama (33) has been appointed as permanent guest conductor. The varied character of the orchestra is reflected in these three internationally renowned conductors and arrangers from three different continents. Thanks to them, the Metropole Orkest also has access to a large international network within pop and jazz music, which provides a solid basis for the full breadth of the repertoire.

Jan Geert Vierkant, Metropole Orkest managing director: “I am delighted that Miho, Vince and Jules will join the orchestra for the coming years. They are world-class and will challenge and encourage the orchestra to prove our leading position time and time again. I look forward to the artistic productions that we will develop under the direction of this special trio in the coming years.”

Back in 2013, when Jules Buckley took over as chief conductor, the orchestra faced uncertain times. Under his leadership, a lot of work was done to broaden the artistic profile and the Metropole Orkest became a regular guest at leading international festivals such as prestigious BBC Proms, Musikfestbremen and North Sea Jazz Festival. He formed the basis of the successful Grammy-winning collaborations with Snarky Puppy and Jacob Collier. During the “North Sea Jazz in concert: Metropole Orkest & Friends” on Sunday July 12, Buckley last entered the hall as chief conductor of the Metropole Orkest. The MO thanks Jules for his great dedication and involvement in the recent years and is very pleased that Buckley, like his predecessor, will remain involved with the orchestra in the coming period.

Jules Buckley
The British conductor / arranger has led numerous successful projects as a guest conductor since 2007. Collaborations between MO and the likes of The Basement Jaxx, Gregory Porter, Michael Kiwanuka and Tori Amos were very well received worldwide. When the Metropole Orkest was fighting for its survival in 2012, he was closely involved in various efforts to save the orchestra. After which he was appointed chief conductor in 2013.

Vince Mendoza
The American conductor and world-class composer / arranger Vince Mendoza succeeded Dick Bakker in 2006 as chief conductor. He has collected 6 Grammy Awards and 34 nominations and brought the orchestra international success. Under the direction of Vince Mendoza, the Metropole Orkest was twice awarded a Grammy (for collaborations with Ivan Lins and John Scofield) and received several Grammy nominations. In 2013, he stepped down as chief and accepted a role as honorary conductor.

Miho Hazama
33-year-old Japanese conductor Miho Hazama is a promising composer / arranger. The leading jazz magazine Downbeat named her one of the “25 for the Future” and as orchestra leader and composer of her own “m_unit” she received worldwide praise. Miho was a participant of the Metropole Orkest International Arrangers Workshop in 2011 and was first at the helm in 2018. After two projects with the Metropole Orkest Big Band, she was asked last year to lead the orchestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival for the concert with Becca Stevens, Lizz Wright and Camila Meza.