LE CONCERT DE LA LOGE
© Franck Juery
In January 2015, the violinist Julien Chauvin founded a new period-instrument orchestra with the ambition of reviving an essential component of French musical history: the Concert de la Loge Olympique.
That orchestra, founded in 1783 by the Comte d’Ogny, was then considered one of the finest in Europe and has remained famous for commissioning the ‘Paris’ Symphonies of Joseph Haydn, which were premiered in the Salle des Cent-Suisses at the Tuileries Palace.
At that time, a substantial majority of musicians were Freemasons, and many concert associations were linked to Masonic Lodges such as the Loge Olympique de la Parfaite Estime.
The modern, flexibly sized ensemble presents chamber, symphonic and vocal-operatic programmes directed from the violin or the baton and champions a wide repertory ranging from the Baroque era to the early twentieth century.
The aim of this recreation project is also to explore new forms of concerts, harking back to the spontaneity of late-eighteenth practice, which intermingled different genres and artists in a single programme, and to establish links with other artistic disciplines.
Since it was founded, the ensemble has toured many venues with operas including Haydn’s Armida directed by Mariame Clément, Sacchini’s Le Cid directed by Sandrine Anglade, and Lemoyne’s Phèdre directed by Marc Paquien. It also enjoys regular collaborations with such renowned soloists as Karina Gauvin, Sandrine Piau, Philippe Jaroussky (with whom it has toured Europe and South America) and Justin Taylor.
On disc, the orchestra has embarked on a recording of Haydn’s complete ‘Paris’ Symphonies. Each season it presents a programme modelled on the concert format of the period, featuring a guest artist. The first three volumes, ‘Haydn-La Reine’ with Sandrine Piau, ‘Haydn-La Poule’ with Justin Taylor and the recently released ‘Haydn-L’Ours’, have received critical acclaim, earning such distinctions as the Diamant d’Opéra Magazine, Choc de Classica, Sélection Le Monde, ffff Télérama and the Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros.
Since the French National Olympic and Sports Committee opposed the ensemble’s use of the adjective ‘Olympic’, it was forced to truncate its historical name and adopt the designation ‘Le Concert de la Loge’ in June 2016.
The ensemble receives support from the French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, the Ville de Paris, the Région Île-de-France, the Caisse des Dépôts (principal sponsor), the Fondation Orange, the Fonds de Dotation Françoise Kahn-Hamm and the members of the circle of patrons Le Club Olympe. It is in residence at the Conservatoire Jean-Baptiste Lully in Puteaux and is associate artist in residence at the Fondation Singer-Polignac. Starting in the 2018/19 season, Le Concert de la Loge is also in residence for three years at the Cité Musicale-Metz.
Julien Chauvin was attracted at an early age by the Baroque revolution and the new wave of historically informed performance practice using period instruments, and moved to the Netherlands to train at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Vera Beths, who founded L’Archibudelli with Anner Bylsma.
In 2003, he was a prizewinner at the International Early Music competition in Bruges. Since then he has performed as a soloist in South America, South Africa and Georgia, while at the same time playing in the leading European Baroque ensembles, before founding in 2005 Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, which he directed jointly with Jérémie Rhorer for ten years. Realising his desire to bring back to life a celebrated ensemble of the eighteenth century, in 2015 he formed a new orchestra, Le Concert de la Loge. The ambitions of this modern recreation have been demonstrated by its exploration of forgotten works from the French orchestral and vocal-operatic repertory, but also of innovative forms of direction (the ensemble is directed from the violin) and concert formats encouraging spontaneous and imaginative reactions from the audience.
In parallel with this, he continues his collaboration with the Quatuor Cambini-Paris, formed in 2007, with which he performs the string quartets of Jadin, David, Gouvy, Mozart, Gounod and Haydn.
Julien Chauvin has conducted such operatic productions as Lemoyne’s Phèdre and Isouard’s Cendrillon staged by Marc Paquien for the Palazzetto Bru Zane; Haydn’s Armida directed by Mariame Clément; and Sacchini’s Chimène ou le Cid staged by Sandrine Anglade. Continuing to investigate the question of direction in the eighteenth-century opera, he recently directed Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail from the violin in a production by Christophe Rulhes.
Julien Chauvin has recorded concertante works by Haydn, Beethoven and Berlioz on the Eloquentia and Ambroisie-Naïve labels. In 2016 he began recording Haydn’s complete ‘Paris’ Symphonies with Le Concert de la Loge for Aparté.
He regularly appears in recital with Jean-François Heisser, Alain Planès, Christophe Coin, Justin Taylor and Olivier Baumont. He and Baumont recorded the disc ‘À Madame’ at Versailles Palace.
For the year 2017/18, Julien Chauvin was artist in residence at the Institut d’études avancées de Paris in a partnership aimed at stimulating dialogue between music and research in the realm of the humanities and social sciences.
In addition to his concert activities, Julien Chauvin also devotes himself to teaching in orchestral sessions or masterclasses at the Conservatoires Nationaux de Musique et de Danse of both Paris and Lyon, the École Normale de Paris and the Orchestre Français des Jeunes.
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For further information please visit Le Concert de la Loge