follows the example of baroque musicians in his versatility. In addition to his ability as a keyboard-player, conductor and composer, he also studied singing and from the age of seventeen turned his attention to the establishment and direction of choirs. In 1980 he was appointed chef de chant at the Paris Opéra National. In 1985 he was commissioned by Princess Caroline of Monaco to write an orchestral work and ballet inspired by a novel of Stefan Zweig for the reopening of the Monte Carlo Ballet.
Shaped by participation in the principal baroque ensembles, Hervé Niquet has developed an affinity with the French grand motet of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and to revive this still relatively little-known repertoire he established in 1988 Le Concert Spirituel, thus bringing to life again one of the most famous musical institutions of the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI.
Increasingly in demand as a conductor, Hervé Niquet has appeared at the Baroque Music Festival of Lamèque in Canada, in addition to other engagements as a conductor in France.
Le Concert Spirituel
was the first company to perform private concerts in France. Founded in the eighteenth century, it closed with the outbreak of French Revolution. Its name was revived by Hervé Niquet when he founded his ensemble of ancient instruments in 1987, bringing back to life the great French repertoire played at the court of Versailles. In this spirit, Le Concert Spirituel collaborates closely with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and is devoted to airing the works of the great composers of French musical heritage, from Charpentier to Lully, by ways of Campra or Boismortier.
Expanding its repertoire to Italian, English and other masters, Le Concert Spirituel has made a name for itself on the national and international stage as one of the authoritative ensembles for the interpretation of Baroque music. Guest to the Salle Pleyel, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Château de Versailles each year, Le Concert Spirituel is also invited at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, London’s Barbican Center and Wigmore Hall, at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Prom’s, at the Luxemburg Philharmonie, Tokyo Opera, BOZAR in Brussels, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Shanghai Concert Hall, and Theater an der Wien etc.
Hervé Niquet is proud to assemble an orchestra of keen musicians who interpret music, make instruments and conduct historical researches. This dynamic confederation provides for a "team ethic" which enables the realization of projects that are on the cutting edge of the latest discoveries in interpretation on period instruments. The Fireworks & Water Music production, whose recording received the Edison Award, is typical of this work.
While Le Concert Spirituel specializes in French sacred music and is recognized the world over for its work on this repertoire, an important part of its activity is also devoted to lyrical music. The ensemble unveiled works that received the most prestigious international awards : Marais's Sémélé was voted « Opera Recording of the Year » by the ECHO Klassik Awards in 2009, Grétry's Andromaque was awarded a “Grand Prix – Académie du disque Charles Cros” in 2010, and Campra’s Carnaval de Venise lately received the Supersonic Award and German Record Critic’s Award in 2011.
These musical adventures were also the opportunity to work with directors and choreographers as diverse as Gilles and Corinne Benizio (alias Shirley & Dino), Karol Armitage, Georges Lavaudant,and Joachim Schloemer. This process involving French operas has given birth to a collection of book-CD's in collaboration with the label Glossa (distributed by Harmonia Mundi), with whom Le Concert Spirituel has an exclusive recording engagement since 2000.
In 2013-2014, Le Concert Spirituel had scheduled a series of events: a European tour with Striggio’s Mass for 40 voices in Paris, Utrecht, Bremen, Bruxelles and Metz, a unique re-creation of the French version of Mozart’s La Flûte Enchantée at Salle Pleyel in Paris, a new production of Rameau’s Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Opéra royal de Versailles and the Palais de Beaux-Arts of Bruxelles (250th death anniversary of Rameau), the production of Purcell’s King Athur (stage directors Corinne and Gilles Benizio alias Shirley et Dino) at the Opéra de Massy, a production of Purcell’s The Indian Queen (stage director Joachim Schloemer) at the Opéra-Théâtre de Metz.
Le Concert Spirituel, in residence at the Opéra-Théatre de Metz Métropole and the Arsenal de Metz - Metz en Scènes, is funded by the Ministry for the Arts and the Communication and the City of Paris. Le Concert Spirituel is funded by the Fondation Bru.