Biographies in English

Gerard Lesne, countertenor

With more than 70 recordings, and concerts given on the most prestigious international stages, countertenor and musical director Gerard Lesne remains, today, one of the most important and special singer of the baroque musique world.

 

As a gifted self made man, after numerous rich and virtuosi crossover experiences in many musical styles, he indulged himself into medieval and baroque music repertoire. Among decisive encounters : with René Clemencic as regards lessons about European medieval music repertoire, with William Christie who makes him discover French baroque art subtleties, from Charpentier to Couperin, and with Philippe Herreweghe who teaches him German music rigour, in Bach music for instance.

 

He founds his own ensemble, Il Seminario Musicale, in 1985 : composed with first rank musicians, this ensemble allows Gerard Lesne to explore and let discover French, Italian, English and German baroque repertoires. Marc Minkowski, Fabio Bondi, Blandine Rannou, Patrick Cohen-Akénine, Bruno Cocset, Benjamin Perrot, Florence Malgoire or Violaine Cochard have all participated or do still participate in the ensemble musical and artistic excellence.

 

Gerard Lesne is a regular guest as a soloist of main baroque ensembles; he performs under Philippe Herreweghe, Jordi Savall, William Christie, René Jacobs, Gustav Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken or Jean-Claude Malgoire. He is also invited by symphonic orchestras, such as the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, or the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, in modern and contemporary repertoires (Orff, Britten, Schnittke, Adams, etc.).  Thomas Hampson, Natalie Dessay, Paul Agnew, Patricia Petitbon, Sandrine Piau, Laurent Naouri, Philippe Jaroussky, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, Véronique Gens, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Dominique Visse, Peter Harvey, etc. are Gerard Lesne’s regular musical partners.

 

He performs in most prestigious opera houses (Opéra de Paris, Paris Théâtre  des Champs-Elysées, Fenice di Venezia, Lyon Opéra National, Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Tokyo Opera City, etc.), concert halls (London Barbican, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wien Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Lisboa Gulbenkian Fundation, Madrid  Philharmony, Barcelona Music Palace, Berlin Konzerthaus, NYC Lincoln Center, etc.), and festivals (Aix-en Provence, Boston, Ambronay, Utrecht, Saint Petersburg, Sablé, etc.).

 

His numerous discography, varied in styles (from baroque music to jazz, as well as to symphonic pieces, such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, with Thomas Hampson and Natalie Dessay), is unanimously acclaimed by international critics. Gerard Lesne got multiple awarded by specialized magazines, among which, French Diapason (“Diapasons d’or”) and Monde de la Musique (“Chocs”), English Gramophone, etc. He won as well Venice’s Vivaldi Great International Prize for ancient music. Three times in almost a row, Gerard Lesne and his ensemble received French important award Victoires de la Musique.

 

In 2004, Gerard Lesne is made Chevalier des Arts & Lettres by French state, and receives Charles Cros Academy In Honorem Price for his whole career.

In his passionate will to transmit music, Gerard Lesne gives masterclasses in France and throughout Europe.

 

January 09

 

 

 


IL SEMINARIO MUSICALE

The ensemble Il Seminario Musicale is founded in 1985 by Gerard Lesne, countertenor and musical director. ISM is today renowned to be one of the leading French ensembles in baroque musique. Its residency, since 1990, is the prestigious Foundation at the Abbaye de Royaumont, thirty kilometres in the north of Paris.

 

Since its creation, ISM is composed by first rank European musicians : Marc Minkowski, Fabio Bondi, Blandine Rannou, Bruno Cocset, Patrick Cohen-Akénine, Florence Malgoire, Benjamin Perrot, Anne-Marie Lasla or Violaine Cochard have all participated or still participate in the ensemble musical and artistic excellence.

 

The ISM repertoire is mainly defined by French, Italian, German and English composers’ works, from Monteverdi to Vivaldi and Pergolese, from Charpentier to Couperin, including Dowland, Purcell or Bach. Its demanding musicological will, together with its narrow work relation with prestigious Centre de Musique de Baroque de Versailles, allow the ensemble to mix a range of famous repertoire and masterpieces with more accurate works and composers to be discovered, such as Antonio Caldera or Alessandro Stradella.

An obvious predilection for the vocal repertoire leads ISM to explore operas (stage and concert version), Italian serenades, oratorios, sacred and profane music in general.

But ISM is also interested in working with some contemporary music composers renewing some sacred music forms, on baroque music instruments.

 

The ensemble performs on the most prestigious international stages, from the United States to Japan and China, from Russia to Europe. The most important ancient music festivals (Aix-en-Provence, Utrecht, Chaise-Dieu, Sablé, Boston, Folles Journées, etc.), concert halls (London Barbican, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wien Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Lisboa Gulbenkian Fundation, Madrid  Philharmony, Barcelona Music Palace, Berlin Konzerthaus, NYC Lincoln Center, etc.) welcome ISM.

 

With EMI-Virgin Classics and Naïve, the ensemble has released so far almost 30 recordings, all of which were acclaimed by international critics. ISM got multiple awarded by specialized magazines, among which, French Diapason (“Diapasons d’or”) and Monde de la Musique (“Chocs”), English Gramophone, etc. The ensemble won as well Venice’s Vivaldi Great International Prize for ancient music. Three times in almost a row, Gerard Lesne and his ensemble received French important Victoires de la Musique.

 

The ensemble is supported by French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Ile-de-France, as well as by French Conseil Général du Val d’Oise.

 

January 09


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