Since January 2011, Arie van Beek has been working as the Artistic and Musical Director of this symphony ensemble which is unique in France and has evolved, since 1985 and under the leadership of Alexandre Myrat, Patrick Fournillier, Louis Langree, Edmon Colomer and Pascal Verrot, towards a Mozartian format of 37 musicians, known as a 'Mannheim' ensemble. From classic and romantic symphony to chamber music and to concertante works, Orchestre de Picardie takes up a great variety of repertoires and gives pride of place to contemporary music. It has produced several recordings, of which Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, in cooperation with the Royaumont Foundation and young professionals, which was awarded the "Orphée d’Or" by the Académie du Disque Lyrique. Since 2004 and the reopening of the Opera House in Lille, a fruitful partnership has been linking Orchestre de Picardie with the Lille Opera House, where it had the great pleasure to participate in 10 productions. It will be back there this musical season for Donizetti's great tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor. Keen to maintain a close relationship with all its audiences, Orchestre de Picardie roots its identity throughout the Picardy region. Acting as a regional centre for classical music, it performs each year over 110 concerts, plus some 50 innovative and multifaceted actions: Music at the Campus, 4 days with the Orchestra, educational concerts, sponsorships, residencies and other discovery activities based on knowledge transmission and carried out at not-for-profit organisations and schools (over 155 since 1998).
In 2004, Orchestre de Picardie established ONE® - an Orchestra Network for Europe, a unique European network of symphony orchestras which is developing projects in 11 countries of the European Union. Supported and managed by Orchestre de Picardie, ONE® currently regroups 6 partner orchestras, and its main objectives are intercultural dialogue, the mobility of artists and artworks, the promotion of young artists and their integration into the professional world. Since its establishment, in recognition of its proven expertise in managing a trans-European network, ONE® has received 4 grants from the European Commission within the framework of the Culture programme. Established more recently, ACT - A Common Territory is a network that aims at supporting live performances and culture through the development of cross-border activities based on the creativity of the network's partners. Its activities include classical music, contemporary dance, productions, secondary and higher education actions, and outreach and social inclusion activities. Its 13 partners, located on both sides of the Channel, have been involved since 2011 in this European project for which Orchestre de Picardie is acting as the Lead Partner. The ACT network comes under the European cross-border cooperation programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, cofinanced by ERDF.
Orchestre de Picardie is indeed a resolutely modern ensemble, as testified by its season of concerts in Picardy, its local involvement, the European networks it supports, its regular participation in famous festivals (Folle Journée de Nantes, Festival des Forêts, de Saint-Riquier Baie de Somme, de Laon, etc.), its long-lasting partnerships and its residencies abroad.
Rose Bardonnet Lowry – Directeur général/Executive director
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