Ensemble Matheus

English Biography
Crédit: Edouard Brane

Crédit: Edouard Brane

Matheus in english

ENSEMBLE MATHEUS – English biography

For more than twenty years, the Ensemble Matheus has been one of the most renowned ensembles in the world of classical music, thanks to its bold and accessible artistic approach.

Jean-Christophe Spinosi created the Matheus Quartet in 1991, driven by his desire for innovation and continual research, and it soon evolved into the Ensemble Matheus.

Playing in variable formation from ‘chamber ensemble’ to ‘symphonic orchestra’, the Ensemble Matheus has since its inception endeavoured to combine different music genres. It performs a wide repertoire extending from the Baroque music to contemporary on both modern and traditional instruments.

Its passion and pioneering enthusiasm for original repertoire led it to make a series of recordings devoted to Vivaldi, a composer whose masterpieces were then absent from the discography: it produced several albums and four operas which quickly became legendary, arousing an excited following throughout the world.

Through numerous concerts and recordings, it has developed musical friendships with like-minded well-known artists: among them Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Natalie Dessay, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Sandrine Piau, and many others.

The Ensemble Matheus performs every season since 2007 new opera productions at the Théâtre du Châtelet: Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone, Messager’s Véronique, Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, Bellini’s Norma, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Haydn’s Orlando Paladino.

Other appearances in Paris include productions at the Opéra National de Paris (Handel’s Alcina) and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso), where it was given standing ovations for Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Proud of its Breton origins, the Ensemble Matheus is equally active in its home region of Brittany, as associate ensemble with the Quartz in Brest since 1996.  These strong local roots lead it to many regional tours, performing in Vannes, Saint-Brieuc, Morlaix and at the Opéra de Rennes, not forgetting neighbouring towns.

In view of making classical music more accessible to all, the Ensemble Matheus will continue its series of educational programmes devoted to young people. It will also set up for the fifth year running an “Opéra en Région”, a project it initiated and that takes a full opera production on tour throughout Brittany.

The Ensemble Matheus has performed all around the world, including New York (Carnegie Hall), Vienna (Konzerthaus, Theater an der Wien), Zurich (Tonhalle), London (BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, Wigmore Hall), Rome (Accademia Santa Cecilia), Bilbao (Sociedad Filarmonica, Bilbao Opera), Québec (Grand Théâtre), Dortmund (Konzerthaus)… After their triumph at the Theater an der Wien in February 2013 in Le Comte Ory, the Ensemble Matheus and Cecilia Bartoli continued their close collaboration with two more Rossini operas, Otello at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Salzburg Festival and La Cenerentola at the Salzburg Festival.

The Ensemble Matheus has been keen on exploring the whole repertoire, performing concerts devoted to Dvorak, Shostakovitch or Fauré, as well as to Beethoven, Rossini or Vivaldi. Opera remains central in its work, as shown by the 15 performances of Handel’s Orlando recently given on tour across France and La Pietra del Paragone’s revival at the Théâtre du Châtelet.

Its last recording for Deutsche Grammophon was unanimously acclaimed by the press and received the “Choc” distinction from Classica magazine.

Next seasons highlights: 33 performances of Handel’s Xerxes in Stockholm and Versailles, Mozart’s Il re pastore at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Missa solemnis on tour across Europe.

 

The Ensemble Matheus is subsidised by the Conseil régional de Bretagne, the Conseil général du Finistère, the town of Brest, and the Ministère de la culture et de la communication – DRAC de Bretagne. The Ensemble Matheus is associated with the Quartz in Brest since 1996. Its performances are kindly supported by its sponsors, BNP Paribas – Banque de Bretagne and Altarea Cogedim.

 

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE SPINOSI – English biography

Some people see him as the “enfant terrible” of classical music… while to others he’s a true choreographer-musician gifted with a rhythmical pulse and physical exaltation that are beyond the norm.

From the beginning he interprets a very wide repertoire extending from Baroque music to contemporary on both modern and traditional instruments.

In 1991 he created the Ensemble Matheus in Brest, an orchestra which will accompany him throughout the world.

In 2005, his enthusiasm in researching original repertoire led the Ensemble Matheus to make a series of recordings devoted to Vivaldi, a composer whose masterpieces were then absent from the discography: they produced several albums and four operas which quickly became legendary, arousing an excited following throughout the world. Simultaneously, he continues to interpret the classical and romantic repertoire as well as many surprising and varied pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries from Chostakovitch to Herbie Hancock, Stravinsky or Prokofiev to George Crumb, Arvo Pärt, Nicolas Bacri, Henryk Górecki, John Cage or Guillaume Connesson..

Different productions have since enabled Jean-Christophe Spinosi to enjoy the privilege of musical friendships with great artists such as Cecilia Bartoli, Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Philippe Jaroussky, with whom he recorded the album Heroes for EMI-Virgin Classics, a disc whose sales achieved triple-gold status.

Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducts every season since 2007 new opera productions with the Ensemble Matheus at the Théâtre du Châtelet and regularly performs at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Theater an der Wien or the Wiener Staatsoper.

For several years he has worked with some of the most imaginative stage-directors on the international scene, among them Pierrick Sorin (for Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone in 2007 and 2014), Oleg Kulik (for Monteverdi’s Vespers for the Blessed Virgin in 2009), or again Claus Guth (for Handel’s Messiah at the Theater an der Wien, 2009), Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser (for Rossini’s Otello at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salzburg Festival in 2014).

Jean-Christophe Spinosi has worked regularly with numerous orchestras including the Wiener Staatsoper, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio Sinfonieorchester in Frankfurt, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester from Berlin, the Orquesta de Castilla y León, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Radio-Symphonieorchester from Vienna, and the Orquesta Nacional of Spain; other notable collaborations include his work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hanover, the Mozarteum Orchester in Salzburg, the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris.

After their triumph at the Theater an der Wien in February 2013 in Le Comte Ory, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Cecilia Bartoli continue their close collaboration with three more Rossini operas,  Otello at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Salzburg Festival, La Cenerentola at the Salzburg Festival and L’italiana in Algeri at Dortmund.  The international press present in Salzburg unanimously praised their musicality and their audacious interpretation of Rossini operas.

In future seasons, numerous projects are planned for Jean-Christophe Spinosi : new opera productions of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Theater an der Wien and of Mozart’s Magic flute at the Hamburg Opera, together with Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia (at the Wiener Staatsoper) and Le Comte Ory at the Zurich Opera with Cecilia Bartoli. With the Ensemble Matheus he will be conducting the new productions of Handel’s Serse at the Artipelag in Stockholm and at the Château de Versailles, Mozart’s Il Re Pastore at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea (staged by Claus Guth) at the Theater an der Wien. He will be conducting Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis on tour across Europe, as well as various symphonic programs (Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Chostakovitch, Profofiev…) throughout North America and Japan.

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