More than 160 years of great dates
The Orchestra, when it was founded in 1856, was called the “Orchestre du Nouveau Cercle des Etrangers”, then in 1958 the “Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo”, and since 1980 the “Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo”. It occupies a prominent place in the international musical world.
Thanks to its ability to combine tradition and modernity, it plays a leading role in the interpretation of symphonic works of the great repertoire, the revival of rare and contemporary works and lyrical and choreographic creation. Since the end of the 19th century, the number of “world premieres” created in Monte-Carlo has been countless, and the great composers such as Massenet, Puccini, Ravel, Mascagni, Fauré, Franck, Honegger, Ibert, Lalo, Milhaud, Poulenc and Satie have found the ideal interpreter in the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Contemporary music has always been present in the OPMC’s seasons, with Henze, Dutilleux, Pärt, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Holliger, Ligeti, Takemitsu, Eötvös, Amy, Mainz, Hurel, among others. From 1856 to the present day, the orchestra has been known by various names, including Permanent Conductor, Titular Conductor, First Guest Conductor, Musical Director and Artistic and Musical Director: Alexandre Hermann, Eusèbe Lucas, Léon Jehin, Louis Ganne, Marc César Scotto, Victor de Sabata, Paul Paray, Henri Tomasi, Louis Frémaux, Edouard van Remoortel, Igor Markevitch, Lovro von Matacic, Lawrence Foster, James DePreist, Marek Janowski, Yakov Kreizberg and Gianluigi Gelmetti.
Since the 2016-2017 season, Kazuki Yamada is the Artistic and Musical Director of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.
We remember the greatest glories of the past among the guest conductors: A. Toscanini, W. Furtwängler, R. Strauss, B. Walter, D. Mitropoulos, E. Kleiber, A. Cluytens, G. Marinuzzi, Sir T. Beecham, C. Schuricht, K. Ančerl, Ch. Münch, E. Jochum, L. Stokowski, Sir. J. Barbirolli, P. Klecki, G. Szell, then among those closer to us, L. Bernstein, C.-M. Giulini, R. Kubelik, Sir George Solti, W. Sawallisch, K. Sanderling, G. Prêtre, L. Maazel, K. Kondrachine, Ch. von Dohnanyi, Z. Mehta, G. Rojdestvenski, Y. Temirkanov, as well as all of the current great conductors.
Extraordinary events have marked the history of the OPMC, such as the complete Bartók concertos by Zoltán Kocsis, Berlioz’s Requiem at the Dom in Berlin and at the Grimaldi Forum, Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder at the Grimaldi Forum, and later at the Berlin Philharmonic, with the Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunkchor Leipzig.
The orchestra is regularly invited by the major festivals, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Prague, Strasbourg, Montreux, Vienna, Orange, Dresden, Bonn, Leipzig, Ankara, Athens, Bad Kissingen, Bonn, Dublin, Lisbon, Lyon, Rheingau, La Roque d’Anthéron. He also makes numerous tours abroad (Austria, Germany, Belgium, China, South Korea, Spain, United States, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Switzerland).
Autumn 2010 saw the launch of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra’s “OPMC Classics” label. Five discs, conducted by Yakov Kreizberg, have been released, with works by Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Ravel, Debussy, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Mahler. These recordings have won numerous awards from the music press. Under the direction of Gianluigi Gelmetti, a tribute disc to Léo Ferré (Symphonie interrompue and La Chanson du mal-aimé), a disc dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi and, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, a disc of contemporary works by G. Amy, P. Maintz and P. Hurel (conductor Jean Deroyer, baritone Otto Katzameier) have been released.
The recording policy continues with Kazuki Yamada, with a number of discs planned, including a first CD which was released in 2017: Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Rêverie et Caprice. In 2021, three new recordings are released.
Under the presidency of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys the support and encouragement of H.S.H. the Prince Albert II. The Orchestra, assuring him of its full confidence and esteem, is continuing along its own path: preserving its authenticity while resolutely looking to the future, thanks to a dynamic policy encouraged by the Prince’s Government and resuming its involvement in the life of the Principality.
The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra is supported by the Government of Monaco, the Société des Bains de Mer and the Association of Friends of the Orchestra.