Equally active as a conductor, chamber player, song accompanist and festival director, Jan Schultsz has pursued diverse musical disciplines since the beginning of his career. He studied the piano and horn at the conservatory of his native Amsterdam and at the music academies of Basle and Lausanne. He initially played horn in various orchestras and appeared as a solo and chamber pianist and accompanying singers. At the beginning of the 1990s he had further training as a conductor from Manfred Honeck and Ralf Weikert. Since then he has divided his time between conducting, performing as a pianist and teaching.
From 1999 to 2009 Schultsz directed the Neuchâtel Chamber Orchestra, with which he recorded a series of world-premiere CD recordings of works by Swiss composers (Eric Gaudibert, Jost Meier and Peter Mieg). He has conducted a host of ensembles in Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, among them Zurich’s Tonhalle and Chamber orchestras, the Winterthur Music Collegium, the Basle Symphony and Chamber orchestras, the Lausanne and Geneva Chamber orchestras, as well as the Hungarian Symphony, Prague National Theatre and Pilsen Philharmonic orchestras. Further guest conducting engagements have taken him to Palermo, Beijing and Chile.
As an opera conductor, Jan Schultsz has been engaged by the Norwegian Opera in Oslo, the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège. In 2000 he founded Opera St. Moritz in the Swiss valley of Engadin, serving as its artistic director until 2012. His repertoire embraces a wide range of Mozart operas as well as rarities by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi, including Swiss premieres at St. Moritz of Rossini’s Otello and L’equivoco stravagante, Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Verdi’s Oberto. L’equivoco stravagante, a co-production of Opéra Royal de Wallonie and Opera St. Moritz, was awarded the Paris Syndicat de la Critique’s 2012 “Prix de l’Europe francophone” as Best Opera Production (director: Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera). In 2014 Schultsz will conduct the modern world premiere of Rossini’s complete La Gazzetta at Liège’s Royal Opera.
Jan Schultsz’s musical partners include Cecilia Bartoli, Vesselina Kasarova, Steven Isserlis, the Leipzig String Quartet, Werner Güra, László Polgár, Gilles Apap, the Capuçon brothers, Khatia Buniatishvili, Daniel Behle, Albrecht Mayer and recently with musicians from Teatro alla Scala Milano. His extensive discography contains recitals and portraits with Werner Güra (in 2000 their recording of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin was awarded the “Diapason d’Or”), Elena Mosuc and Noëmi Nadelmann, as well as the internationally acclaimed world-premiere recording of Joachim Raff’s complete chamber music with piano, performed by the ensemble Il Trittico (Jonathan Allen, violin; Daniel Pezzotti, cello; Jan Schultsz, piano) for the DIVOX label. A recording of the complete chamber music with piano of Hans Huber, featuring Thomas Demenga among other musicians, is in preparation.
In addition, Jan Schultsz has been director since 2008 of the Engadin Festival, one of Switzerland’s oldest. He also is the founder and president of the Samedan Brassweek and holds a professorship and is spokesperson for the piano faculty at the Musikhochschule in Basle.