Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire

In September 1971, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Pays de la Loire gave its first concerts in Nantes and Angers under the baton of Pierre Dervaux. Created on the initiative of Marcel Landowski, music director at the Ministry for the Arts, this orchestra was founded when the Nantes Opera Orchestra and the Popular Concerts Society Orchestra of Angers were combined to form a single ensemble. Since its foundation, the orchestra has thus been based in two cities, with half of its one hundred musicians in Angers and half in Nantes. Pierre Dervaux became the first music director and immediately gave it a "French colour". Marc Soustrot, who succeeded him from 1976 to 1994, continued this orientation. The Dutch conductor Hubert Soudant, music director from 1994 to 2004, took the orchestra in new directions, stressing Viennese repertoire and increasing its audience. The orchestra became "national" in 1996. The Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky became the fourth music director in 2004, also founding an amateur chorus and emphasising late 19th- and early 20th-century repertoire.

The American conductor John Axelrod was appointed music director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in April 2009. His tenure has been characterised by the philosophy "open to the world".

Today, with more than 11,000 subscribers and 200 concerts attracting nearly 200,000 listeners every year, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire has one of the largest audiences among European orchestras. It receives financial support from the Pays de la Loire's Regional Council, the Ministry for the Arts, the town councils of Nantes and Angers and departments of the Pays de la Loire region (Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Vendée).

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Véronique Gens: Berlioz & Ravel

Véronique Gens, soprano
Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire
John Axelrod, conductor
ODE 1200-2

Released 05/2012

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