Orchestre National de Lille
Since its foundation by Jean-Claude Casadesus in 1976 and thanks to an ambitious programme, the Orchestre National de Lille (ONL) has established itself as a leading French orchestra open to all audiences. Each year the orchestra performs in its concert hall, Le Nouveau Siècle in Lille, in its own region, across France and abroad. True to its mission, the orchestra plays major symphonic repertoire, with an annual opera production, as well as the music of our own time, particularly by appointing composers-in-residence. In parallel, it presents innovative programmes dedicated to new audiences.
The orchestra invites experienced international conductors and soloists as well as the younger generation, and puts its young audiences at the heart of its projects by developing a wide range of participatory events. Thanks to its fully digital studio, the orchestra has developed an ambitious audio-visual policy. Over the years critics and public have hailed more than 30 recordings with numerous awards. Alexandre Bloch has been the orchestra’s music director since September 2016. The ONL is subsidised by Région Hauts-de-France, the Ministère de la Culture, the Métropole Européenne de Lille and the Ville de Lille.
French-born Alexandre Bloch assumed the position of Music Director of Orchestre National de Lille at the start of the 2016/17 season and has been Principal Guest Conductor of Düsseldorfer Symphoniker since September 2015. Admired for his musicality, enthusiasm and energy, his First Prize at the 2012 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition attracted international attention and brought him the opportunity to serve as Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The 2018/19 season includes debuts with Tiroler Landstheater Orchester Innsbruck and Gurzenich-Orchester Köln and his stage debut for Opera de Lyon to conduct George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence. Plans with Orchestre National de Lille include a Mahler cycle, Stravinsky’s Petrushka and recordings. He also returns regularly to Düsseldorfer Symphoniker.
Recent highlights include debuts with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra of the National Centre for Performing Arts Beijing, Musikalische Akademie in Mannheim and return visits to Vancouver Symphony, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a tour to Kuwait with London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at the Concertebouw Amsterdam with Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and with Lille conducted performances of Daphnis et Chloé and concerts at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Symphonic guest conducting has included Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de France, the Nash Ensemble, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Brussels Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Filharmonia Poznanska, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra. With Orchestre National de Lille he conducted a concert version of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles in Lille and at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Past opera includes works for children with Royal Danish Opera, and Donizetti’s l’Elisir d’Amore at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
Shortly after his Donatella Flick Competition success he made his debut with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, replacing Mariss Jansons at short notice to conduct three performances of a challenging programme including Richard Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung and a Jörg Widmann commission for large orchestra. He was named one of "2012's Talents" by the ADAMI (French Performing Right Society) and was a conducting fellow at the 2012 and 2013 Tanglewood Music Center Festival. He also drew the attention of conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Sir Mark Elder and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Born in 1985, Alexandre first graduated with diplomas in cello performance, harmony and conducting from Tours, Orléans and Lille. He then entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, to further his studies in composition and conducting. In 2012, he completed his Master’s Degree in Conducting in the studio of Zsolt Nagy, prior to gaining a Diploma and the Sir John Zochonis Junior Fellowship (2012/13 season) at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Recordings include a disc featuring music of his teacher Thierry Escaich with the orchestra of the Opera National de Lyon and Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles with the Orchestre National de Lille featuring Julie Fuchs. His inaugural concert with Orchestre National de Lille was transmitted live by Mezzo and Radio Classique (film and audio respectively).