Born in Zürich, the son of conductor Armin Jordan, he began to study piano at the age of six. At age eight, he joined the Zürcher Sängerknaben. He has acknowledged that he wished to become a conductor, like his father, at age 9. His violin studies began at age 11. At 16, he entered the Zürich Conservatory where he obtained his diploma in piano instruction, with honors. He studied theory and composition with the Swiss composer Hans Ulrich Lehmann and continued his piano studies with Karl Engel. At the same time, he worked as an assistant to Jeffrey Tate on Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Châtelet in Paris.
In the 1994/1995 season, Jordan was appointed First Kapellmeister and assistant to James Allen Gähres at the Theater Ulm. The following year, he made his debut at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. He has since conducted at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Châtelet in Paris, the Semperoper in Dresden and the Aix-en-Provence International Festival.
From September 1998 to June 2001, Jordan was Kapellmeister and assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Unter den Linden). He now holds the title of Principal Guest Conductor at the Staatsoper unter den Linden. Jordan held the position of Chief Conductor of the Graz Opera and Graz Philharmonic Orchestra from September 2001 to June 2004.
In the 2001-2002 season, Jordan made his US operatic debut conducting Samson et Dalila at the Houston Grand Opera and his UK operatic debut conducting Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In the 2002-2003 season, he made his debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his first conducting appearance at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in April 2004, and at the Bastille Opera in Paris in October 2004. His first appearances at the Salzburg Festival took place in the summer of 2004
In October 2007, Jordan was named the Music Director of the Opéra National de Paris, starting with the 2009-2010 season. In October 2011, Jordan's contract with the Opéra National de Paris was extended through July 2018. In April 2015, the Opéra National de Paris further extended Jordan's contract through 2021.
In October 2011, Jordan was named chief conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker (Vienna Symphony Orchestra), effective with the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. In December 2016, the orchestra announced the extension of Jordan's contract as chief conductor through the 2020-2021 season. He is scheduled to conclude his Vienna Symphony tenure at the close of the 2020-2021 season. In July 2017, the Vienna State Opera announced the appointment of Jordan as its next music director, effective with the 2020-2021 season.
In addition to conducting, Jordan also performs as a pianist in recital and chamber music, such as at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. His commercial recordings include Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Symphony.
- Roslyn Sulcas (2 February 2017). "Philippe Jordan, a Conductor Who Excels at Juggling Jobs". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Suter, Paul: Theaterlexikon der Schweiz, Chronos Verlag Zürich 2005, Band 2, ISBN 3-0340-0715-9, S. 938./Philippe Jordan Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- Matthew Westphal (10 October 2007). "Philippe Jordan Named Next Music Director of Paris Opera". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
- "Opéra de Paris: le Suisse Philippe Jordan directeur musical jusqu'en 2018". Agence France Presse (Le Point). 6 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- Emmanuelle Giuliani (27 April 2015). "Le directeur de l'Opéra de Paris Philippe Jordan prolongé jusqu'à 2021". La Croix. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- "Philippe Jordan neuer Chefdirigent ab 2014-15" (Press release). Wiener Symphoniker. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Frank Cadenhead (6 October 2011). "A High-Profile Podium for a Rising Star: Philippe Jordan to Head Vienna Symphony Orchestra". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Chefdirigent verlängert Vertrag" (Press release). Wiener Symphoniker. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- "Andrés Orozco-Estrada wird ab der Spielzeit 2021-22 Chefdirigent der Wiener Symphoniker" (Press release). Vienna Symphony Orchestra. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- "Philippe Jordan ab 2020 Musikdirektor der Wiener Staatsoper" (Press release). Vienna State Opera. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Michael Cooper (31 July 2017). "Philippe Jordan Will Lead the Vienna State Opera. Can He Bring Peace?". New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Erica Jeal (19 October 2017). "Wiener Symphoniker: Beethoven Symphonies 1, 3 CD review – persuasive and buoyant". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2018.