Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Mikko Franck, Music Director
Heir of the first Philharmonic Orchestra founded in the 1930s by the French radio, the orchestra was re-established in the middle of the 1970s at the instigation of Pierre Boulez, who criticized the rigidity of the traditional symphony orchestras.
L’Orchestre Philharmonique can therefore cover a vast repertoire from the 18th century up until our time, written for either a small ensemble or a large orchestra. Each group is formed according to the composition of the works, several groups working simultaneously.
The first music directors of the orchestra were composer Gilbert Amy and conductor Marek Janowski. After more than 10 years at the head of the orchestra, Myung-Whun Chung is proud to have his orchestra considered as one of Europe’s most remarkable. The greatest conductors have joined Myung-Whun Chung, enriching the orchestra such as Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ton Koopman, or the most brilliant conductors of the new generation: Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Vasily Petrenko, Lionel Bringuier and Mikko Franck who succeed to Myung-Whun Chung in September 2015.
Mikko Franck, who has conducted the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra since 2003, presents his first season as musical director featuring fifteen programmes – including a carte blanche for the composer Magnus Lindberg – which reveal the scope of the repertoire championed by the Finnish conductor. The works of Rautavaara, the opera The Dead City by Korngold, Sibelius, Debussy, Mahler, Messiaen and Dutilleux, to name but a few, will all feature in the wide-ranging season with the Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also conduct Madame Butterfly by Puccini at the Chorégies d’Orange in summer 2016.
The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France plays mainly in the recently inaugurated Auditorium de Radio France. The orchestra also takes part to the new Philharmonie de Paris.
All these concerts, broadcast on France Musique, are postcast on the Radio France website and some are also available on video-streaming on the ArteLiveWeb and Radio France websites. The orchestra is present as well on the France Televisions, Arte and Mezzo TV antennas. Its recording activity remains steady and more than 300 references are now available on iTunes.
The orchestra musicians integrate themselves in schools and in hospitals to visit sick children. Beside Myung-Whun Chung, they have been ambassadors of UNICEF since 2007. They have also imagined a Philharmonic Academy in partnership with the Conservatoire de Paris.
The Orchestre Philharmonique created a website especially dedicated to the young audience (www.zikphil.fr). It enjoys the support of its principal patron, Amundi and of different partners brought together in the Music and Radio Foundation.