Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique was founded by Sir John Eliot Gardiner in 1989
with the aim of bringing to the music of the 19th and early-20th centuries an equivalent
stylistic fidelity and intensity of expression characteristic of his renowned
period-instrument orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists.
From its inception-in performances and a recording of Brahms's Ein deutsches
Requiem-the ORR won plaudits internationally, notably for its interpretation of the
works of Beethoven, which it performed extensively and recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in
the 1990s. In 2011, the orchestra returned to this repertoire for the first time in nearly
20 years, with a successful tour of Beethoven symphonies in Europe and the US.
The orchestra has been acclaimed for its interpretations of all the major early Romantic
composers, starting with Berlioz. The ORR performed and recorded his Symphonie
fantastique in the hall of the old Paris Conservatoire, where the very first
performance took place in 1830. In 1993, together with The Monteverdi Choir, the orchestra
gave the first modern performances of the newly rediscovered Messe solennelle. Ten
years later, they joined forces to perform L'enfance du Christ at the BBC
Proms, as well the first complete staged performances in France of Berlioz's masterpiece
Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Other critically acclaimed initiatives by the ORR have included a project entitled
Schumann Revealed, given at the Barbican in 1997, that led to recordings of the
complete Schumann symphonies and Das Paradies und die Peri. This was followed a
decade later by Brahms: Roots and Memory, given at the Salle Pleyel and the Royal
Festival Hall in 2007-2008, in which Brahms's four symphonies were set in the context of
his most significant choral works and music of the 16th to 19th centuries that he himself
transcribed and conducted. The project was recorded for the ensemble's own label, Soli Deo
Operas by Weber (Oberon and Le Freyschütz), Bizet
(Carmen), Chabrier (L'étoile), Verdi (Falstaff), and Debussy
(Pelléas et Mélisande) have been performed in new productions in France, Italy,
and (some) in London.
Recent concerts have included performances of Debussy's Pelléas et
Mélisande at the BBC Proms and works by Brahms, Bruckner's Mass in E Minor, and
Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. Touring engagements for 2013 will
include Berlioz's La damnation de Faust and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and
Symphony No. 8.
Visit monteverdi.co.uk/orr for more information.
The Monteverdi Choir
The Monteverdi Choir, founded in 1964, is famous for its passionate, committed, and
virtuosic singing. Over the past 45 years, it has been consistently acclaimed as one of the
best choirs in the world, noted for its ability to switch composer, language, and idiom
with complete stylistic conviction. The choir is also a fertile training ground for future
generations of choral and solo singers: Choir members often step out to sing solo parts,
and many former choristers have gone on to spectacular solo careers. Since 2007, the
Monteverdi Apprentice Scheme has added an exciting new dimension to its profile.
The choir has undertaken a number of trailblazing tours, including the ambitious Bach
Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which it performed all 198 of Bach's sacred cantatas
throughout Europe to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death. The entire
tour was recorded by the company's own record label, Soli Deo Gloria. Another large-scale
project in 2004 took the musicians on the road to Santiago de Compostela, where they
performed a cappella Spanish polyphony in churches en route.
The choir has more than 100 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes. It
regularly participates in staged opera productions, and is currently involved in a
five-year residency at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, through which it appeared in Le
Freyschütz (Weber), L'étoile (Chabrier), and Carmen
In the past two years, the choir has sung in several performances of Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
In 2011-2012, it took part in a variety of projects across other repertoires,
including-together with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique-music by Brahms,
Bruckner, and Stravinsky; as well as tours and recordings of a cappella English Renaissance
music and Bach Ascension Cantatas along with the English Baroque Soloists.
It also began new collaborations with the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Schumann's
Manfred) and the Orchestre National de France (Berlioz's Grande messe des
Future touring engagements in 2013 include Bach's St. John Passion and
B-Minor Mass in Europe, and the Christmas Oratorio at the Sydney Opera House
and Arts Centre Melbourne. The choir's collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra
continues with performances of Stravinsky's Oedipus rex.
Visit monteverdi.co.uk/choir for more information.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
One of the most versatile conductors of our time, Sir John Eliot Gardiner appears
regularly with leading symphony orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Czech Philharmonic.
Formerly artistic director of the Opéra de Lyon, he has conducted new productions of
L'étoile, Carmen, Pelléas et Mélisande, and most recently
the Weber-Berlioz Le Freyschütz at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. His most recent
appearance at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was with Rigoletto in
April 2012. In July, he finished the season with performances of Berlioz's Grande messe
des morts at the Festival de Saint-Denis with the Orchestre National de France and The
Acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival of the past four decades, Mr.
Gardiner is the founder and artistic director of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et
Romantique, English Baroque Soloists, and The Monteverdi Choir, recently voted best choir
in the world. With them, he has undertaken a number of ambitious large-scale tours. Most
recently, he opened the Salzburg Festival 2012 with a performance of Haydn's Die
Schöpfung with The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. Their touring
engagements in 2013 include performances of Berlioz's La damnation de Faust in
Europe and Buenos Aires, and Bach's Christmas Oratorio at the
Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne.
The extent of Mr. Gardiner's repertoire is illustrated by more than 250 recordings he has
made for major record companies and by numerous international awards, including most
recently Gramophone's Special Achievement Award for live recordings of Bach's
complete church cantatas.
In recognition of his work, Mr. Gardiner has received several international prizes, and
honorary doctorates from the University of Lyon, New England Conservatory of Music, and
University of Cremona. In 1992, he became an Honorary Fellow of both King's College
London and the Royal Academy of Music, and in 2007-2008 a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse,
Cambridge. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1990 and a Knight
Bachelor in the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours. In April 2008, he was awarded the Royal
Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation's prestigious Bach Prize. He was nominated as a
Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996 and made Chevalier de la Légion
d'honneur in 2010.
Visit monteverdi.co.uk/jeg for more information.