Music Director: Daniele Gatti
Honorary Music Direcor: Kurt Masur
The Orchestre National de France takes pride in having given the first performance of some of the major works of the 20th century, such as Soleil des Eaux by Pierre Boulez (1950), the Turangalîla-Symphony of Olivier Messiaen (first performance in France, 1950), Déserts by Edgar Varèse, whose premiere created a memorable scandal in 1954, Jonchaies by Iannis Xenakis (1977), as well as multiple works by Henri Dutilleux : the Symphony No. 1 (1951), Timbres, Espace, Mouvement (1978), the violin concerto L’Arbre des Songes (1985, with Isaac Stern as soloist), the nocturne for violin and orchestra Sur le même accord (first French performance in 2003), and Correspondances for voice and orchestra (first performance of the revised version in 2004).
The life of the orchestra is marked by numerous phonographic recordings. The most recent, released on the Naïve-Radio France label, include Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, performed in March 2000 under the direction of Bernard Haitink and awarded “Best classical Recording of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique classique in 2002, the operas Ivan IV by Bizet, conducted by Michaël Schönwandt (honored by the Académie du Disque Lyrique), Edgar de Puccini conducted by Joël Levi, the Baron Tzigane by Johann Strauss with Armin Jordan, a “Tribute to Evgueni Svetlanov”, the Symphony No. 10 of Chostakovitch conducted by Kurt Sanderling, the Symphony No. 6 of Tchaikovski conducted by Riccardo Muti, the Symphony No. 5 of Bruckner with Lovro von Matacic and the opera Mirra by Domenico Alaleona conducted by Juraj Vacuha. The recordings of the Orchestre National under the baton of Kurt Masur feature Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 2 and No. 6, Tchaïkovski’s Symphony No. 5 and Chostakovich’s Symphony No.7.