After five seasons as chief conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonie Orchester and music director of the Luzerner Theater, and chief conductor of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire starting from the 2010/2011 season, John Axelrod has established his profile as one of today‘s leading conductors and is sought after by orchestras throughout the world.

During summer 2009, Mr. Axelrod made a unique European and North American tour at the invitation of Chinese pianist Lang Lang and legendary jazz musicians Herbie Hancock. With an extraordinarily diverse repertoire, innovative programming and charismatic performance style, John Axelrod continues to increase his profile as one of today‘s leading conductors and is sought after by orchestras throughout the world.

After a successful five-year tenure as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Theater, and the election as Music Director of the l‘Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (ONPL), in April 2011 John Axelrod was appointed Principal Conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano  »G.Verdi«, beginning with the 2011-2012 season. Since 2000, John Axelrod has conducted over 130 orchestras, most of which include multiple repeat engagements, emphasizing both his success and European credibility in the core classical repertoire.Such prestigious European orchestras include Berlin‘s Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Hamburg Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, Royal Philharmonic of London, London Philharmonic, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI of Turin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Orchestra, ORF Radio-Symphony Orchestra Vienna and Salzburg Mozarteum, among many others.

His international profile as guest conductor in the U.S. and Asia features engagements with the Washington National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic (at the Hollywood Bowl), Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony (at the Ravinia Festival), NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Kyoto Symphony and the Shanghai Symphony. The soloists with whom John Axelrod often collaborates include, among others: Julia Fischer, Martin Grubinger, Daniel Hope, Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Lang Lang, as well as such vocalists as Thomas Hampson and Elina Garança, Rinat Shaham. John Axelrod also toured Europe and the USA in 2009 at the specific invitation of Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock, and after its success, reprised the tour in Paris at Salle Pleyel and Teatro alla Scala in 2011.  

In the last years John Axelrod conducted concerts of film music with the Radio-Symphonieorchester Berlin the Los Angeles Philharmonics in the Hollywood Bowl, where he concerned himself with the viennese hollywood composers Steiner and Korngold. His opera activity includes the premiere performancesof Bernstein‘s Candide directed by Robert Carsen at Paris‘s Théâtre du Châtelet and Milano‘s Teatro alla Scala, Wagner‘s Tristan and Isolde for Angers/Nantes Opéra directed by Oliver Py, and the new production of Krenek‘s Kehraus um St. Stephan at the Bregenz Festspiele. In past seasons at the Luzerner Theater he conducted several operas and new productions such as Kaiser von Atlantis, Rigoletto, Rake‘s Progress, Don Giovanni, The Three Penny Opera and Idomeneo all for the Lucerne Festival, and Il barbiere di Siviglia, Evgenij Onegin, L’elisir d‘amore and Falstaff. As Principal guest conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia, Mr. Axelrod has appeared in Europe‘s leading concert halls, seen on ARTE television, and performed on the grounds of Auschwitz in the Emmy Award winning 2007 BBC Holocaust Memorial Film. Furthermore John Axelrod is founder and conductor of the OrchestraX in Houston.