Orchestre National de France
A Radio France ensemble, the National Orchestra of France is the oldest symphony orchestra in France that still performs today. The orchestra was founded in 1934 due to the desire for a group that performed symphonic pieces. This ambition plus the concerts broadcast over the airwaves has made the National Orchestra a prestigious ensemble. From D.E. Inghelbrecht, who founded the tradition of the orchestra, to Emmanual Krivine, its music director since September 2017, great conductors have come to lead the orchestra, which has also invited renowned soloists.
The National Orchestra of France gives around 70 concerts per year in Paris, at the Radio France Auditorium, its main residence since November 2014, and during tours in France and abroad. In addition, the National Orchestra also collaborates with the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées every year, mainly on operatic productions performed at the theatre. For the past 15 years, there has also been an educational project involving concerts that combines musical excellence with humour. This project is targeted at amateur musicians, families and schoolchildren. The orchestra's musicians also visit schools, from nursery school up to university, and give workshops to teach and inspire young generations.
Finally, the National Orchestra has premiered 20th-century masterpieces, such as The Water Sun by Boulez, Deserts by Varèse, and most of Dutilleux’s major works. Every concert is broadcast on the France Musique radio station and frequently rebroadcast on international radio stations. The orchestra also records radio-theatre performances for the France Culture radio station (Dracula, Alice in Wonderland, etc.) with actors, often members of the Comédie-Française, and Foley artists, among others. All of these unique projects show the synergy between the orchestra and the world of radio. Many concerts are also available to stream online, and there are more and more televised broadcasts. The “Concert de Paris”, broadcast live from the Champ de Mars on the night of July 14th, is watched by several million viewers.
For music lovers, many recordings are available for purchase, such as the 8-CD box set that includes rare radio recordings and traces the history of the National Orchestra. Recently, the orchestra recorded the music for Luc Besson’s latest film, Valerian, in the mythical Studio 104.
The 2017-2018 season sets itself apart with its excellent, varied programme. The repertoire’s splendour, which covers three centuries of music (from the Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach to the French premiere of Pascal Dusapin's latest concertante piece, which also celebrates major works from the Russian Revolution and Claude Debussy for their 100th anniversary), will be revealed by an array of illustrious conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Semyon Bychkov, Neeme Järvi and Marek Janowski, as well as Trevor Pinnock, who will conduct the orchestra for the first time.
Sharing the stage with the musicians of the “National”, guest soloists also highlight the appeal of the new Radio France Auditorium and the musical ensembles that perform with our era's greatest artists. Martha Argerich, Maxim Vengerov, Julia Fischer, Evgeny Kissin, Truls Mörk, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and exceptional young talents such as Beatrice Rana and Francesco Piemontesi promise impassioned evenings at the Maison de la Radio, which continues to assert itself as a symphonic institution now more than ever.