The Corsican musician Jean-Christophe Spinosi leads a double life, as both violinist and conductor.
The point of convergence of his two passions dates back to 1991, when, aged only twenty-six, he founded the Quatuor Matheus with which, as first violin, he was a prizewinner at the International Van Wassenaer Competition at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 1993. This quartet, with the addition of other instruments, became the Ensemble Matheus, with which he has since freely explored the most varied repertoires.
He has conducted many instrumental and vocal works - symphonies, concertos, masses, cantatas, oratorios, etc. - featuring such soloists as Sandrine Piau, Verónica Cangemi, Matthias Goerne, Philippe Jaroussky, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Nathalie Stutzmann, Jennifer Larmore, Sara Mingardo, Marjana Mijanovic. His recordings have won several international prizes, including the Diapason d'Or, Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique, Premiointernazionale del disco Antonio Vivaldi in Venice, Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros, Prix Caecilia in Belgium, Victoire de la Musique Classique, and the BBC Music Magazine Award for 2006.
He has appeared as soloist and conductor with his ensemble in the major festivals and venues in France (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra de Paris, Toulouse's Grands Interprètes, Festival d'Ambronay, Festival du vieux Lyon) and abroad, in major cultural cities of Europe (Concertgebouw, Konzerthaus in Berlin, in Vienna, Opera de Madrid, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, etc.), and worldwide (debuting at Carnegie Hall, NYC, February 08).
After conducting The Magic Flute at the Parma Opera in February 2006, he performed Gluck’s Requiem with the Ensemble Matheus at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, followed by a new production of The Magic Flute in Bilbao (staging: D. Abbado), as well as the 2007/08 season opening production at the prestigious Teatro Reggio da Parma, Italy. The Ensemble Mattheus has an ongoing residency at the Théâtre du Châtelet, where they have performed Rossini's La Pietra del paragone (staging: G. Corsetti / P. Sorrin), and Messager’s Véronique to date. Other recent engagements include Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the opening week-end of the Edinburgh International Festival; Handel’s Alcina at the Opéra National de Paris, a tour and recording of Vivaldi’s La Fida Ninfa with the Ensemble Matheus, and Die Zauberflöte with the Wiener Symphoniker at the Theater an der Wien.
In the 2008/2009 season, Spinosi conducted Cosi fan tutte at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich; a staged version of Monteverdi’s Vespers at the Théâtre du Châtelet; and a staged version of Handel’s Messiah at the Theater an der Wien and at the Opéra de Nancy. His concert performances with the Ensemble Matheus include performances with Philippe Jaroussky, Susan Graham, Vivica Genaux, Michael Maniacci and Emmanuel Pahud. Spinosi also conducted the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, both in concert with Jennifer Larmore, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo with pianist David Fray.
Jean-Christophe Spinosi was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2006. He was also awarded ‘Best Opera Conductor 2007’ by the Académie du disque lyrique.
© Virgin Classics / Marc Ribes, Albert Vo Van Tao
The Ensemble Matheus at the Chapelle de la Trinité
The Ensemble Matheus at the Chapelle de la Trinité (conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi)