Chief conductor of the Philharmonie Südwestfalen since 2019, Nabil Shehata began his conducting career in 2006 having received encouragement and instruction from Daniel Barenboim, Rolf Reuter, Lawrence Foster and Christian Thielemann. After gaining initial experience working with various youth and chamber orchestras, Nabil gave his critically acclaimed conducting debut in Cottbus in 2007 and a year later conducted the Simon Bolivar Orchestra.
Since then, he has conducted orchestras all over the world including the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Düsseldorf Symphony, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland Pfalz, Ljubljana Radio Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Padua Chamber Orchestra and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra as well as the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre, the Evermay Chamber Orchestra in Washington, the Osaka Philharmonic, Kyoto Symphony, Kioi Sinfonietta, New Japan Philharmonic and Macau Philharmonic Orchestra.
Following a hugely successful production of Mozart’s Der Diener zweier Herren with the Munich Chamber Opera, Nabil was appointed by the orchestra as Music Director with immediate effect. Since then he has led the orchestra in a varied range of productions from La finta semplice, Cenerentola, Barber of Seville to Salieri’s Falstaff. The orchestra also runs a popular series of special concerts including performances of Mahler’s Song of Earth and specifically designed concert formats with actors focusing on the life and times of composers such as Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, Mahler and Schumann.
Recent highlights include Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with the Munich Chamber opera, debuts with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and the Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, and returning to conduct the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz as well as leading the Bremer Philharmoniker on tour. In 18/19 he began a residency at the Berlin Staatsoper working alongside Daniel Barenboim and 19/20 sees him begin his appointment as Chief Conductor of the Philharmonie Südwestfalen, and he also returns to conduct the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and makes his debuts with the Stuttgart Kammerorchester and the Dresdner Philharmoniker.
Born to parents of German and Egyptian descent, Nabil Shehata grew up in Germany and having received piano lessons from his mother at the age of six he took his first doublebass lessons three years later with Thomas Zscherpe, going on to study with Michinori Bunya and Esko Laine.
He is the laureate of several international competitions including the ARD competition in Munich, where he received not only the first prize but also the coveted audience award as well. From 2004 to 2008 he was the principal bass player of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he performed as soloist under Daniel Barenboim. He has commissioned many double bass works from composers including a concerto by Moritz Eggert.
Supporting young artists is of particular importance to Nabil Shehata and he is strongly committed to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, of which he has been a member for many years.