The orchestra of Paris ─ from history to nowadays


The Orchestre de Paris, which often appears in conjunction with the orchestra's own Chorus, combines the continuing energy of youth with the maturity of experience.

You will learn details of the best periods of the phenomenal "Orchestre de Paris".

The Orchestre de Paris was founded in 1967 on the initiative of André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs, and his newly appointed Director of Music, Marcel Landowski. The young orchestra was the successor to the illustrious Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, created some 139 years previously, in 1828.

Edgar Degas - The Orchestra at the Opera
Edgar Degas - The Orchestra at the Opera, source: Musée d'Orsay Paris.

The Orchestre de Paris, which often appears in conjunction with the orchestra's own Chorus, combines the continuing energy of youth with the maturity of experience.

These musicians have regularly performed under the direction of the world's most illustrious conductors, amongst them Abbado, Bernstein, Böhm, Boulez, Celibidache, Giulini, Haitink, Kubelík, Maazel, Mehta and Ozawa.

The orchestra has also accompanied the finest soloists of the day, building up over the years a repertoire that covers three centuries of music, from symphonic works to opera, embracing every tradition, and giving an important place to new music through its policy of commissions and first performances in France.

Reflecting this breadth of repertoire, the orchestra's discography is especially varied, and has won several international awards.

Its most recent recording to be released is the Symphonie fantastique of Hector Berlioz conducted by Christoph Eschenbach (Naïve, 2002).

In September 2002, the Orchestre de Paris inaugurated its Paris residence at the Théâtre Mogador.

The orchestra has complete control of programming there throughout the season, with the exception of the months of November and December.

This new freedom enables it to develop around its own concert series a genuine artistic and cultural project.

The Orchestre de Paris has shown its open-minded attitude to music in all its forms and reached new audiences by giving concerts in new venues, programming chamber music series with the orchestra's soloists, and pursuing an active policy to encourage young audiences.
Since its foundation, the Orchestre de Paris, which is financed by the French Government and the City of Paris, has given around one hundred concerts per year, a third of which take place outside Paris or abroad, thanks to the assistance of the Cercle de l'Orchestre de Paris.

It has appeared in many cities throughout France and has also been applauded all over the world. The orchestra's triumphantly successful tenth tour of the USA under Christoph Eschenbach in January 2002 earned it a regular invitation to Carnegie Hall in New York for future seasons.

The Orchestre de Paris has also been, from the beginning of its career, a regular guest at international festivals, amongst them Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin Festtage, the London Proms, Paris Mozart Festival, Linz Bruckner Festival, Settembre Musica (Turin), Musica (Strasbourg) and the Enesco Festival in Bucarest.

The world's foremost conductors have served as music directors of the Orchestre de Paris.

Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan ─ 1969

After Herbert von Karajan, who succeeded Charles Munch with the title of Musical Adviser (1969-1971), Sir Georg Solti (1972-1975), Daniel Barenboim (1975-1989), who provided the orchestra with the chorus it had lacked up to then, Semyon Bychkov (1989-1998) and Christoph von Dohnányi, Artistic Adviser for two seasons from 1998 to 2000, a new era began with Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris since September 2000.

From 2015, the orchestra is now the main resident of the new Philharmonic Orchestra of Paris.

Their present magnificent residence you can find in Paris in the park La Vilette here:

And also, you can buy tickets online for their outstanding performances here.