In January 2015, the violinist Julien Chauvin founded a new period-instrument orchestra with the ambition of reviving a famous eighteenth-century orchestra, the Concert de la Loge Olympique.
That orchestra, founded in 1783, has remained famous for commissioning the Paris Symphonies from Joseph Haydn, possibly through the agency of the Chevalier de Saint-George. The Concert de la Loge Olympique was considered one of the finest orchestras in Europe. It played first at the Hôtel de Bullion, Paris, and was later resident at the Tuileries Palace under the aegis of Marie-Antoinette.
At that time, the majority of musicians were Freemasons, and many concert associations were linked to Lodges. Values such as social harmony and equality by merit found in the music an ideal terrain in which to grow and express themselves in new genres such as the symphonie concertante.
Today, this new orchestra of variable format is constructed on a unique model in France, inviting collaborations from top soloists and conductors. It offers chamber music, symphonic and vocal programmes directed from the bow or the baton and maintains a large repertoire from the Baroque era to the turn of the twentieth century.
The aim of this re-creation is also to explore new forms of concert inspired by its original deployment at the end of the eighteenth century. Projects mix different genres and artists even on the same evening and establish links with other artistic disciplines.
As a consequence of the research into French music which founder-conductor Julien Chauvin has pursued for more than ten years, the ensemble continues to rediscover and recreate forgotten works from the national repertoire in partnership with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice.
As the French Committee for Olympic Sport (CNOSF) has opposed the orchestra’s use of the adjective ‘Olympic’, it has been forced to truncate its historic name and has been known since June 2016 as Le Concert de la Loge.
On tour, the Concert de la Loge has appeared on several French opera stages with Haydn’s Armida, directed by Mariame Clément, with Sacchini’s Le Cid, directed by Sandrine Anglade, and with Lemoyne’s Phèdre, directed by Marc Paquien. The orchestra also appeared in concert with renowned soloists as Karina Gauvin, Sandrine Piau, Philippe Jaroussky (North and South American Tour), Jean Rondeau and Justin Taylor.
On disc, the group begins its cycle of Haydn's Paris Symphonies. Each season's programme is performed, according to the tradition of the time, with a guest artist. The first recording was with Sandrine Piau and appeared in October 2016 on the Aparte label to critical acclaim (Diamant d'Opera, Grand Prix Charles Cros....)
The orchestra is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, by the Caisse des Dépôts (principal sponsor), by the Orange Foundation, by the Caisse d’Épargne Île-de-France, by the Banque de France and by the F. Kahn-Hamm’s Fund. It has a residency at the Jean-Baptiste Lully Conservatoire (Puteaux) and is associate artist at the Singer Polignac Foundation.
Violin & direction
Julien Chauvin, winner of the Prix du Concours Général de Paris in 1997, studied violin with Vera Beths at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and period instrument interpretation in Baroque and Classical music with Wilbert Hazelzet, Jaap ter Linden and Anner Bylsma.
In 2003, he was a prizewinner at the International Early Music competition in Bruges and has performed as a soloist in South America, South Africa, Georgia, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Deauville Easter Festival. He has appeared with such Baroque ensembles as Concerto Köln, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Le Concert d’Astrée and the Ensemble Baroque de Limoges.
He also performs the Romantic and modern repertoire and has worked in close collaboration with Steve Reich, György Kurtág, Thierry Escaich, Thomas Adès and Philippe Hersant. He gives recitals with fellow soloists Renaud Capuçon, Jérome Pernoo, Jérome Ducros, Bertrand Chamayou, Jean-François Heisser, Christophe Coin, Patrick Cohen and Alain Planès.
After a ten-year collaboration with the ensemble Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, which he directed with conductor Jérémie Rhorer, Julien Chauvin established a new orchestra, Le Concert de la Loge. He also continues to perform with the Quatuor Cambini-Paris, which was formed in 2007.
As musical director, Julien Chauvin has collaborated on many operatic productions including Era la notte staged by Juliette Deschamps with Anna Caterina Antonacci and Félicien David’s Le Saphir produced by Palazzetto Bru Zane. He has directed Le Concert de la Loge in a number of operatic productions staged by Mariame Clément (Armida, Haydn), Marc Paquien (Phèdre, Lemoyne) and Sandrine Anglade (Le Cid, Sacchini).
Among the orchestras he has directed from the violin are the Esterházy Hofkapelle, the Orchestre Régional d’Avignon, the Orkiestra Historyczna of Katowice and the Orchestre Français des Jeunes.
Julien Chauvin has also begun to develop a career in North America with the Folger Consort in Washington and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.
He regularly appears in recital with Olivier Baumont. Together they recorded the disc ‘À Madame’ at Versailles Palace for the Aparté label.
He has recorded concertante works by Haydn, Beethoven and Berlioz with Le Cercle de l’Harmonie on the Eloquentia and Ambroisie-Naïve labels. In 2016 he began recording Haydn’s ‘Paris’ Symphonies with Le Concert de la Loge for Aparté.
Since September 2017 Julien Chauvin has been artist in residence at the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris at the Hôtel de Lauzun.
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