Paavo Järvi, music director
The Orchestre de Paris, the successor to the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire founded in 1828, gave its inaugural concert in November 1967 under the direction of its founding father Charles Munch. After his death, the music directorship of the orchestra was entrusted successively to Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim (who created a permanent amateur chorus in 1976), Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Christoph Eschenbach. Appointed from the 2010/11 season onwards, Paavo Järvi will be music director of the Orchestre de Paris until the 2015/2016 season.
The orchestra draws its repertoire from the mainstream French musical tradition established by the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, while also playing a major role in favour of the repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through the appointment of composers in residence, first performances of many works (by Xenakis, Berio, Dusapin, Dalbavie, Manoury, Saariaho, Stroppa, Takemitsu, etc.), and cycles and special events devoted to tutelary figures of twentiethcentury French music such as Messiaen, Dutilleux, and Boulez. In September 2012, the orchestra will be in tour in Spain and Italy under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi with the pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, then for the Prague Festival with Paavo Järvi conducting. In November, the orchestra will be in tour in Germany and Switzerland under the baton of its musical director, with Christian Tetzlaff and Andreas Haefliger. It will end the season at the d’Aix-en-Provence Festival under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen in a new production of Elektra.
A regular guest in the great foreign capitals, the Orchestre de Paris has forged close relationships with New York, London, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, the Scandinavian countries, Spain and Russia, as well as audiences in China, Japan, and Korea, with whom it renewed acquaintance in 2011, under Paavo Järvi’s conducting, for its fourteenth tour in the Far East since the early 1970s.
With young people at the top of its list of priorities, the orchestra is diversifying its educational activities (school and family concerts, open rehearsals, workshops, classes in residence, discovery programmes) while also expanding its audiences (young people from nursery school to university level, family audiences). During the 2012/13 season, the musicians will introduce nearly 40,000 children to orchestral music.
The orchestra’s discography reflects the varied facets of its activity. Recent releases have included Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 4 with Lang Lang on Deutsche Grammophon and Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Symphonie. Its first recordings under Paavo Järvi, released on Virgin Classics, feature Bizet’s symphonic works and Fauré’s Requiem with Matthias Goerne, Philippe Jaroussky, Éric Picard et le Chœur de l'Orchestre de Paris. The orchestra has also launched a policy of diffusion of its concerts on its website and on the sites of partners such as Arte live web or medici.tv.
The 119 musicians of the Orchestre de Paris will give more than 100 concerts this season, including around 60 at the Salle Pleyel as resident orchestra.