For this season, Daniel Harding succeeds Paavo Järvi to become the ninth Musical Director of the Orchestre de Paris, with Thomas Hengelbrock joining him as Associate Conductor. These two conductors, known for their innovative programmes, will combine their talents to write a new page in the history of the Orchestre de Paris.
France’s premier symphony orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris gives over one hundred concerts in Paris each season or during its international tours. Successor to the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire which was founded in 1828, The Orchestre de Paris gave its inaugural concert in November 1967 conducted by its first Musical Director, Charles Munch. Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach and Paavo Järvi followed on as Musical Director of the orchestra.
In 1976, Arthur Oldham founded the Choir of the Orchestre de Paris which he directed until 2002. Lionel Sow took up the direction in 2011 giving the choir a new dynamic by creating several different vocal ensembles, each with its own pedagogical identity: Childrens’ Choir, Youth Choir, the Academy, the Chamber Choir and the Main Choir. During this season the choir will celebrate its fortieth anniversary, the high point of which will be the weekend of the 21st and 22nd January, when the Philharmonie de Paris will be entirely given over to the Choir’s celebrations.
The orchestra’s musical tradition is that of the French musical tradition and favours nineteenth and twentieth century repertories as well as contemporary music. During the course of the current season under Daniel Harding’s direction, he conducts the French première of ‘Dream of the Song’ by George Benjamin with the Counter-tenor Bejun Mehta and ‘Babylon Suite’, by Jörg Widmann. Thomas Hengelbrock will conduct the French première of ‘L’Action Ecclésiastique’ by Bernd Alois Zimmermann. In January, Bertrand de Billy conducts the world première of ‘La Luumière et l’Ombre’ by Philippe Hersant to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Choir of the Orchestre de Paris.
In November 2016, Daniel Harding takes the Orchestre de Paris to South Korea and to Japan for a tour of 8 concerts with the violinist Joshua Bell. During the Summer, the orchestra is back at the Muusikverein in Vienna, as well as Prague and Dresden in concerts conducted both by Daniel Harding and by Thomas Hengelbrock, before beginning a three year residency at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2017(‘The Rake’s Progress’ conducted by Daniel Harding, ‘Carmen’ conducted by Pablo Casado). The orchestra will participate in two opera productions every Summer, and will give several symphonic concerts.
The young public is at the heart of the Orchestre de Paris’s priorities and the orchestra offers a large range of pedagogical activities (educational or family concerts, open rehearsals, workshops, residential classes, initiation courses…) open to schools and families as early as four years old, as well as to publics deprived of access to music.
Released in 2014, the DVD ‘Elektra’(Bel Air Classiques) recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July 2013, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen received a Grammy Award. The Erato label released a Dutilleux CD in 2015 conducted by Paavo Järvi which won a number of awards (Diapason d’Or, Choc Classica, and ffff Telerama), as did a double Rachmaninoff CD, again conducted by Paavo Järvi.
As a means of making the orchestra’s talents available to the largest public possible, the orchestra has considerably developed its audiovisual policy over the past few years by creating partnerships with Radio Classique, France Musique, Arte, Mezzo, Classical Live/Google Play music and France Télévisions.
The Orchestre de Paris, with its 119 musicians, is financed by the French Ministry of Culture and The City of Paris since the orchestra’s creation.
Eurogroup Consulting principal sponsor, supports the symphonic season of the Orchestre de Paris. The Young Public activities of the orchestra receive the support of the Caisse d’Epargne d’Ile-de- France and of the Cercle de l’Orchestre de Paris.