WORLD-RENOWNED concert pianist and conductor Lars Vogt will be the new music director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, it was announced tonight (Wednesday, May 28).

The appointment of the German maestro comes ahead of the Sage Gateshead’s 10th anniversary.

The 43-year-old takes over from Thomas Zehetmair, who brings a 12-year tenure to a finale with a performance at London’s Milton Court Concert Hall on June 13.

Following a short welcome concert of chamber music with members of the orchestra on June 21, Vogt will kick off the 2014/15 season as music director-designate at Sage Gateshead on Saturday September 20, with a programme of works by Brahms and Beethoven.

He returns later in the season, before taking up his full appointment in the 2015/16 season.

Sage Gateshead chief executive Anthony Sargent said: “Following Thomas Zehetmair’s 12 revelatory years as our music director was always going to be a challenge.

“But in Lars Vogt’s profound depth and breadth of musicianship I’m certain we’ve found the right new direction for Royal Northern Sinfonia - in parallel with Thomas making periodic return visits as our new Conductor Laureate.

“I and the musicians of Royal Northern Sinfonia are thrilled to see that Lars is as excited by the new partnership we’re announcing today as we are.”

Vogt has worked regularly with Royal Northern Sinfonia, most recently in January 2014, performing and conducting in their From Player to Podium series.

Vogt said: “I am thrilled with my first conducting appointment with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

“Whenever I have worked with this chamber orchestra, be it as soloist or as conductor, I´ve felt such a close connection and such an inspiring spirit of adventure with these wonderful musicians who have more and more become my close musical friends.

“Conducting feels like flying with the force and energy of the music helping you to uplift the musicians around you. I can’t wait to continue this journey together over the next years.”

One of Vogt’s main passions is the opening up classical music to children in schools and this aspiration mirrors Sage Gateshead’s own ambitions to make music “an essential life force in the community”.

As well as conducting, Vogt has established an acclaimed career as a concert pianist, performing with many of the world’s great orchestras, including Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, NHK Symphony and Orchestre de Paris.