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Laurence Equilbey

Conductor
Artistic Director, accentus choir and Insula orchestra

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Laurence Équilbey conducts Egmont at La Seine Musicale in Paris

Laurence Équilbey conducts Egmont at La Seine Musicale in Paris

Laurence Équilbey, working with Insula orchestra and director Séverine Chavrier, has created an exciting and original staged version of Beethoven’s Egmont, involving music, live theatre and film The work, inspired by Goethe’s play of the same name, consists of an overture and a series of incidental pieces for orchestra and voice Further information about the two performances, ...

Laurence Equilbey conducts Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor

Laurence Equilbey conducts Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor

Laurence Equilbey conducts Insula orchestra and accentus chorus in six performances of one of Mozart’s most celebrated works, the Great Mass in C Minor, in June and July The concerts will take place on 24 and 25 June in Paris’ spectacular new concert hall, La Seine Musicale, followed by performances at various other venues in France, ...

Biography

Conductor and musical director of Insula orchestra and accentus chorus, Laurence Equilbey is acknowledged for her demanding, yet open-minded approach to her art. Her exploration of the symphonic repertoire has seen her conducting the orchestras of Lyon, Bucharest, Hessischer Rundfunk, Goteborg, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Akademie für alte Musik Berlin, the philharmonic orchestras of Liège, Leipzig, Francfort, etc.

Laurence Equilbey has studied music in Paris, Vienna and London, and conducting with Eric Ericson, Denise Ham, Colin Metters and Jorma Panula.

She is an associate artist of the Paris Chamber Orchestra, a resident artist of the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence, an associate artist of the Opera de Rouen Haute Normandie (with accentus), a companion of the Cité de la musique/Philharmonie de Paris and Artistic Director and Director of Education at the Department for Young Singers at the Paris Conservatory.

In 2012, with support from the Conseil général des Hauts-de-Seine, she founded Insula orchestra, an ensemble devoted to the classical and pre-Romantic repertoire, using period instruments. From 2017, Laurence Equilbey will be responsible for programing a classical music series of about 30 concerts per season at the Auditorium of La Seine Musicale, featuring concerts of both the Insula orchestra and international guest ensembles. The new Paris arts centre, designed by Shigeru Ban on an island in the Seine at the south west side of Paris, will be launched in April 2017.

Laurence Equilbey’s extensive recorded work on the naïve lQabel has received wide critical acclaim. In September 2015, she released her first CD for Deutsche Grammophon of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with acclaimed countertenor Franco Fagioli and sopranos Malin Hartelius and Emmanuelle de Negri. She will release this year the recently uncovered score of Gounod Saint Francois d’Assise, and will further record for the Warner label some lieder by Schubert orchestrated by Liszt, Brahms, Strauss, Berlioz etc. for the Warner label.

Laurence Equilbey is also an accomplished opera conductor. Past operatic engagements comprise Mozart’s Lucio Silla (Theater an der Wien), Reynaldo Hahn’s Ciboulette (Opéra Comique), Britten’s Albert Herring (Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie and Opéra Comique), Weber’s Der Freischütz (Opéra de Toulon), Sous apparence (Opéra de Paris) and Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Cite de la Musique), Die Zauberflöte (Avignon Opera). In 2018, she will be conducting a newly commissioned production of La Nonne Sanglante at the Opera Comique to celebrate Gounod’s 200th birthday.

Highlights of Laurence Equilbey’s upcoming concerts include the 200th anniversary concert of Niels Gade with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir (Feb. 2017, recorded for audio release and filmed for the Danish TV), the opening gala concert of La Seine Musicale featuring Sandrine Piau (April 2017), Haydn’s Creation in an astonishing version staged by the catalan group Fura Dels Baus (March, May & June 2017), Beethoven’s Egmont (Sept. 2017), tour in Poland & Germany (Nov. and Dec. 2017), Brahms’ German Requiem by Thomas Hampson and the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Jan. 2018), to name just a few projects.

Reviews

Equilbey likes brisk tempi, but always with room for nuances, atmosphere, variation and warmth. In addition, she structured this one-and-a-half-hour performance as a rounded narrative, with nothing lacking and nothing overpowered. Above all, she kept both instruments and voices in total balance.
- Süddeutsche Zeitung
 (Reinhard J. Brembeck)
, 2017
Equilbey is tough and has vision. One can tell by listening to her recordings of the Brahms Requiem or the "Seven Last Words" by Haydn. With accentus, she favours a flexible and dark sound for the choir and holds all the voices perfectly in balance. The upper voices do not dominate and one can hear very clearly the middle voices and other details; this was also the case in Vienna. Equilbey’s trademark is a wonderful amalgam of French and German aesthetics, combining unsentimental clarity and profound feeling.
- Süddeutsche Zeitung
 (Reinhard J. Brembeck)
, 2017
This was exactly the inaugural kick the opening needed, and I doubt if anyone in the hall didn’t rejoice at the encore of this early (1808) Ode to Joy.
- The Arts Desk
 (David Nice)
, 2017
The acoustics of the Seine Musicale are simply excellent [...] Insula orchestra played with great vitality throughout. Rarely has Mozart been performed more accurately than by Laurence Equilbey and her splendid musicians.
- concerti.de
 (Peter Krause)
, 2017
[About Gluck's Orfeo Ed Euridice CD] Equilbey and the Insula Orchestra are painstaking in their re-creation of Gluck's original sound world: period strings and brass underscore the harshness of Orfeo's isolation where the warmer sound of conventional instruments tends to console. Speeds are brisk, but in veering away from Muri-like solemnity.
- Gramophone
 (Tim Ashley)
, 2017