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Competitions / VOICE 2018 / Orchestras and Conductors
Orchestras and Conductors
Orchestra
In 1772, the Austrian composer and conductor Ignace Vitzthumb officially founded the La Monnaie Orchestra. The ensemble, always closely involved in the opera house’s productions, developed over the years as it worked with great composers such as Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Leoncavallo, d’Indy, Messager, and Berg. It took part in the first performances of a number of operas, including Massenet’s Hérodiade, Chabrier’s Gwendolyne, Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus, and Prokofiev’s The Gambler. In the course of the 20th century, the orchestra was regularly conducted by world-famous conductors such as Pierre Monteux, André Cluytens, Josef Krips, Richard Kraus, Giuseppe Patane, Hermann Scherchen, Wolfgang Sawallisch and, more recently, Sir John Pritchard, Christoph von Dohnányi, Kent Nagano, and Marcello Viotti. Under Gerard Mortier, the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra was thoroughly revitalised in 1981 and Sylvain Cambreling (1981-1991) was appointed Music Director. He was succeeded by Sir Antonio Pappano (1992-2002) and Kazushi Ono (2002-2008). Equally at home in the symphonic and operatic repertoires, the orchestra performs for the most part in Brussels at La Monnaie, in the Henry Le Boeuf Hall at Bozar, and in Flagey, as well as on tour in Europe, the United States, and Japan.  Contemporary music figures prominently in the orchestra’s repertoire and it has collaborated with many composers, including Frank Martin, Bruno Maderna, Philippe Boesmans, Pascal Dusapin, Salvatore Sciarrino, Wolfgang Rhim, and Benoît Mernier. The orchestra’s dynamism and versatility have made a huge contribution to La Monnaie’s artistic identity. Their impact has grown as broadcasts of opera productions on television and radio, as well as Internet streaming, have increasingly brought the orchestra to the attention of music-lovers all over the world. Its prestige is reflected in an extensive and ever-growing discography. Alain Altinoglu has been Music Director of the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra since January 2016.
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Conductor
Born in Paris in 1975, Alain Altinoglu has been Music Director of the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra since January 2016. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where he currently teaches orchestral conducting. He is a frequent guest conductor with eminent ensembles such as the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the leading Parisian orchestras. This season’s highlights include his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, which he conducted in his own arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. He has also appeared at the Mozart Festival in Salzburg with the Wiener Philharmoniker and at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This season has also seen him make his debut with the WDR Sinfonieorchester (Cologne), the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (Berlin) with Leif Ove Andsnes. This year, he has also conducted Poulenc’s Le Dialogue des Carmélites and Wagner’s Lohengrin, both directed by Olivier Py, as well as Bartók’s Le Mandarin merveilleux and Le Château de Barbe-Bleue in a double production by Christophe Coppens. A regular guest at the world’s leading opera houses, Alain Altinoglu has made his mark at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Opernhaus in Zürich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and the three Parisian opera houses, among others. He has also appeared at the Bayreuth, Salzburg, Orange, and Aix-en-Provence festivals. In parallel with his conducting career, Altinoglu has maintained a close affinity with the lieder repertoire. He regularly accompanies the mezzo-soprano Nora Gubisch; their most recent recording, released on the Naïve label, contains folk songs arranged by Falla, Obradors, Granados, Berio, and Brahms. Other discs by the same duo have included works by Ravel (on Naïve) and Duparc (on Cascavelle). As a conductor, he has also recorded arias with Piotr Beczala for Deutsche Grammophon, Lalo’s Fiesque with the Orchestre National de Montpellier and Roberto Alagna, and the Liszt Piano Concertos with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Nareh Arghamanyan. His extensive discography also includes a number of DVDs, including Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher in 2007 and Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer in 2015.
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