Orchestre National de France
Orchestre National de France_Daniele Gatti © Christophe AbramowitzOn Tour 13.12.2014-16.12.2014

  • Daniele Gatti,
  • Nikolaj Znaider

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Daniele Gatti has been music director of the Orchestre National de France since 2008. He has led the orchestra through a vast repertoire field.His musical leadership has firmly established the orchestra in the French and German-Austrian repertoire – his performances of the Mahler Symphonies and Lieder being one of the highlights of their collaboration so far.  They have also focused in their work together on the Italian Masters. For their first European tourtogether Daniele Gatti will present two programmes. The first will be an all symphonic programme featuring Stravinsky. For the second we are delighted to have secured the renowned violinist Nikolaj Znaider performing Bartok’s Violin Concerto.


LUTOSLAWSKI, W.: Musique funèbre for string orchestra (Muzyka zalobna) (1958)
BARTOK, B.: Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 2 Sz 112 (1937/38)
BEETHOVEN, L.V.: Symphonie Nr. 6 F-Dur op. 68 (''Pastorale'')

BEETHOVEN, L.V.: Egmont - Ouverture op. 84
STRAWINSKY, I.: Symphonie in C (1940)
DEBUSSY, C.: La Mer (Trois Esquisses Symphoniques)
STRAWINSKY, I.: Der Feuervogel - Suite (für großes Orchester) von 1919


© Orchestre National de France

Orchestre National de France

The Orchestre National de France is, from 1934, the first full-time professional symphony orchestra of France. Eighty years later, its history is studded with unforgettable concert performances, countless French and world premieres, recordings and touring in...

The Orchestre National de France is, from 1934, the first full-time professional symphony orchestra of France. Eighty years later, its history is studded with unforgettable concert performances, countless French and world premieres, recordings and touring in collaboration with  exceptional artists who continually vouch for its passion for excellence.

A heritage of prestigious conductors

Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht, the orchestra’s first resident conductor, was to lay the foundations of a musical tradition continued after the war by Manuel Rosenthal, André Cluytens, Roger Désormière, Charles Munch, Maurice Le Roux and Jean Martinon. In succession to Sergiu Celibidache, principal guest conductor from 1973 to 1975, Lorin Maazel was appointed music director of the orchestra in 1987. Jeffrey Tate was principal guest conductor from 1989 to 1998, and Charles Dutoit, music director from 1991 to 2001. From September 2002, Kurt Masur was music director for six seasons. Since September 2008, current music director Daniele Gatti has been galvanizing the multiple facets of the orchestra’s symphonic repertoire from masterpieces by French composers like Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, to symphonic milestones like the complete symphonic works of Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler or Tchaikovsky. The 2014-2015 season will feature the symphonies of Schumann.

France’s musical ambassador, at home and abroad

World-wide touring success has also established the Orchestre National de France on the international circuit. Beyond its Paris season, the ONF gives concerts every year in major foreign cities. In 2014-2015 the orchestra will perform in Essen, Eindhoven, Basel, Zagreb, Milan, Ravello, Udine, Merano, Florence, Bucharest, and in the south of France, at Aix-en-Provence, Orange and of course Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France and Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon.

Residency at the Grand Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio

Highlights of the 2014-2015 season, marking the orchestra’s return to residency at the Maison de la Radio, include a focus on selected works by Felix Mendelssohn, a two-day Schumann marathon, concerts on the theme of “All the Americas”, a homage to Richard Strauss for the 150th anniversary of the German composer, and The Passion according to Saint John by Bach, conducted by Daniele Gatti. Renowned guest artists will include: Bernard Haitink, Fazil Say, Angelika Kirshschlager, Xavier de Maistre, Arabella Steinbacher, Victoria Mullova, Stéphane Denève, Semyon Bychkov, David Afkham, Alexandre Tharaud...

French music

The Orchestre National de France, couched from its beginnings in the French musical and instrumental tradition, has now grown to excel in every repertoire. Yet it remains true to its roots, defending and continually revitalising classic hits of the magic garden of French repertoire. The coming season will feature works by Ravel, Roussel, Bizet, Milhaud and Pierné whose rare Concerto for piano and orchestra will be performed by soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

The Shakespeare Cycle at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

In addition to concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in autumn, 2014, the orchestra will return to avenue Matignon in 2015 to celebrate its seventy-year partnership with the theatre in a Shakespeare Cycle from April 16th to May 16th, featuring works inspired by the English bard. Daniele Gatti will conduct five performances of Verdi’s Macbeth from May 4th to May 16th, and two symphonic concerts, on April 16th (Macbeth by Richard Strauss and the complete version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn) and May 10th (the overture to Beatrice and Benedict by Berlioz and the Romeo and Juliet suite by Prokofiev), the second of these concerts featuring the sensational Anna Netrebko in the Four last songs of Richard Strauss.

The creation of major works

The Orchestre National de France can be proud of having created many major works of 20th century music: Le Soleil des eaux by Pierre Boulez, the Turangalila-Symphonie of Olivier Messiaen (1950, French creation), Déserts by Edgar Varèse, or Jonchaies by Iannis Xenakis (1977), along with multiple works by Henri Dutilleux, the Première Symphonie (1951), Timbres, Espace, Mouvement (1978), the Violin Concerto “L’Arbre des songes” with Isaac Stern (1985), the nocturne for violin and orchestra Sur le meme accord (2003, French creation with Anne-Sophie Mutter), Correspondances for voice and orchestra (2004, creation of the revised version) and more recently Le Temps l’Horloge conducted by Seiji Ozawa with Renée Fleming (2008). During last season (2013-2014) Daniele Gatti conducted the complete Beethoven symphonies in five concerts, each featuring a short work commissioned by Radio France from a French composer: Guillaume Connesson, Bechara El Khoury, Bruno Mantovani, Fabien Waksman and Pascal Zavaro.

Radio, television and web broadcasts and recordings

Numerous recording projects stand out as landmarks in the history of the orchestra. Recent successes include Le Temps l’Horloge with Renée Fleming and Seiji Osawa, the album of Marie-Nicole Lemieux “Ne me refuse pas” (Naïve) and Daniele Gatti’s new version of Debussy’s La Mer, Le Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Images (Sony). For the centenary celebration of the creation of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the National recorded this work coupled with Petrouchka, again for Sony. All concerts of the Orchestre National are broadcast by France Musique. The video diffusion of concerts of the National on the web or on television channels like Arte, France 2, France 3 or Mezzo now adds a new dimension to these live performances.

Educational projects

In order to generate the love of music or simply to enable its discovery, for ten years the Orchestre National de France has been proposing rich and varied programmes, very often conceived by the musicians themselves.

After the opening of the Auditorium of Radio France, concert activities destined for children will be considerably increased by the creation of several orchestral series targeting younger audiences: “The great classics of the future”, “Musical comedy”, “Music from the movies”, “Hello, Doctor?”. A New Year’s concert scheduled for January 2015 has also been designed with children in mind.

Amateur musicians will also be acknowledged as never before, through several major projects that allow performers from the ages of 5 to 95 to come on board for an exciting adventure in the company of professionals.

In a spirit of high quality pedagogy, musicians of the orchestra will continue to visit schools from primary to secondary level, often meeting with children who are discovering a symphony orchestra for the first time. Inspirational workshops, songbook promenades and upbeat pre-concert talks are some of the activities proposed to schools.

And lastly, in continued collaboration with the association Musique et santé, musicians will be playing each month for young hospital patients, bringing them a moment of pleasure and poetry.


SEASON 2014/2015

More about the Orchestra


© Pablo Faccinetto

Daniele Gatti

Daniele Gatti was born in Milan and studied composition and conducting at the city’s Verdi Conservatory. Daniele Gatti has been the music director of the Orchestre National de France since September 2008. Prior to this appointments, he was the music director...

Daniele Gatti was born in Milan and studied composition and conducting at the city’s Verdi Conservatory. Daniele Gatti has been the music director of the Orchestre National de France since September 2008. Prior to this appointments, he was the music director of the Royal Philharmonic (1996–2009), principal conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1992–97), principal guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1994–97), music director of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna (1997–2007), and principal conductor at the Zurich Opera House (2009-2012).

Daniele Gatti has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all over the world, including the Vienna State Opera (Simon Boccanegra, Moses und Aron, Otello and Boris Godunov), La Scala Milan (Lohengrin, Wozzeck, Don Carlo and Lulu), the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (Aida and Fidelio), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Otello, Falstaff), the Zurich Opera House (Falstaff, Parsifal, Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Mathis der Maler) and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut in a new production of Madama Butterfly in 1994, and where he returned February 2013 for an acclaimed new production of Parsifal. In December 2013 he opens the new season at La Scala with La traviata, closing appointment of the bicentenary Verdi’s celebrations.

Maestro Gatti is one of the few Italian conductors ever invited to the Festival of Bayreuth, where he opened the 2008 festival edition with a new production of Parsifal (repeated every year until 2010). After Elektra in 2010, he returned to the Salzburg Festival in 2012 to conduct Bohème and Meistersinger in 2013.

From 2009 to 2011 with the Orchestre National de France, Gatti conducted the Mahler Cycle at the Theatre du Chatelet, Parsifal in concert version, and the Beethoven Cycle in combination with five new commissions of French contemporary composers. He has toured with the Orchestre National de France in North America, Spain, Italy, Austria, England, as well as Germany, and in the 13-14 season he will conduct a complete Tchaikovsky Cycle and celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Orchestre which was founded in 1934.

This season Maestro Gatti will conduct in Munich with the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester, in London with the London Symphony, in New York at Carnegie Hall for a concert version of Wozzeck with the Vienna State Opera, and in concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He will appear for the first time at the Dutch National Opera for Falstaff with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and also in Salzburg with an opera and two symphonic concerts.

Daniele Gatti is Grande ufficiale al merito della Repubblica Italiana and Chevalier des arts et des lettres de la Republique française.

He is also an exclusive artist with Sony. His first two Sony recordings with the Orchestre National de France, dedicated to Debussy and Stravinsky, were released in 2012 and 2013.

SEASON 2013/2014

Artist's Website


© George Lange

Nikolaj Znaider, Violin

Nikolaj Znaider is one of the foremost violinists of today and combines a soloist career at the very highest level with a growing conducting career.    A wonderfully versatile musician, Znaider has established his conductor credentials over the...

Nikolaj Znaider is one of the foremost violinists of today and combines a soloist career at the very highest level with a growing conducting career.    A wonderfully versatile musician, Znaider has established his conductor credentials over the last several seasons, and is increasingly in demand from many of the world’s leading orchestras.

Znaider is Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg where this season he will conduct productions of ‘Così fan tutte’ and ‘Don Giovanni’ in addition to symphonic concerts.  From 15/16, Znaider will have his own subscription series with the Mariinsky each season.

He is a regular guest conductor with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Halle and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra where he served as Principal Guest conductor.  Following a very successful debut conducting the Cleveland Orchestra last season, Znaider has been invited to return for a two week residency period during which he will both conduct the orchestra and play concerti conducted by Welser-Most.  The 2014/5 season includes conducting and soloist collaborations with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg and his conducting debut with the NDR Hamburg. Znaider enjoys a very special relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra he conducts every season.

Last season Znaider was Artist in Residence with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, where he conducted two symphonic programmes, and appeared in recitals, in chamber music and in concerto and in the 12/13 season, he was Resident Artist with the London Symphony Orchestra, playing concerti and conducting large-scale symphonic programmes in London and on tour.

As soloist, Znaider continues to perform regularly with the world’s leading orchestras. Highlights of the coming season include performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Cleveland Orchestras with Franz Welser-Möst, a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Andrey Boreyko, and the Staatskapelle Dresden with Christian Thielemann.   In addition,  Znaider undertakes European tours with both the SWR Sinfonieorchester under Stéphane Denève, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Philippe Jordan, as well as a world tour with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Ricardo Chailly, performing in Leipzig, Vienna, Houston, Washington, Boston and New York. In recital and chamber music, Znaider has appeared at all the major concert halls worldwide.

Recording  highlights of recent years are his Elgar ‘Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61’ with the late Sir Colin Davis and the Staatskapelle Dresden,  award winning recordings of the Brahms’ ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77’ and Korngold’s ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35’ with the Vienna Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, the Beethoven ‘Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61’ and Mendelssohn’s ‘Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64’ with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and Prokofiev’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63’ together with Glazunov’s ‘Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82’ with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer  Rundfunk. He has also recorded the complete works for violin and piano of Johannes Brahms with Yefim Bronfman.

Znaider is passionate about the education of young musical talent and was for ten years Founder and Artistic Director of the Nordic Music Academy, an annual summer school whose vision it is to create conscious and focused musical development based on quality and real commitment.

Nikolaj Znaider plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundation and the Knud Højgaard Foundation


SEASON 2014/2015

Artist's Website

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