We are delighted to announce that Bernard Labadie will be the next Principal Conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Bernard will commence his four-year term in the 2018/19 season. Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading conductors of Baroque and Classical repertoire, Bernard will make his debut with the orchestra at the Caramoor Center of Music and Arts this summer.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s President and Executive Director James Roe stated, “I am thrilled to welcome Bernard Labadie, a galvanizing artist of international stature, as Orchestra of St. Luke’s fifth Principal Conductor. Already well-known to New York audiences, he is ideally suited to serve as both artistic partner and visionary leader of our dynamic organization. On behalf of the musicians, board, and staff at St. Luke’s, we look forward to working with Bernard at this important moment for the Orchestra, as we continue to fulfil our mission through performance, education, and at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music.”
Norman Benzaquen, Chairman of Orchestra of St. Luke’s Board of Directors added, “St. Luke’s continually strives to achieve new artistic heights. Bernard’s impeccable artistry and history of building organizations make him the perfect fit for our next chapter.”
Bernard Labadie said, “I have always admired Orchestra of St. Luke’s because this celebrated ensemble was founded by musicians who remain at the heart of the organization’s culture to this day. With an orchestra of this calibre and its history of great conductors, my vision for St. Luke’s is to deepen the Orchestra’s existing affinity with the musical language of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, and further develop a sound unique to the Ensemble that the audiences will recognize immediately. I am eager to embark on this musical journey with an orchestra so integral to the musical life of New York City.”
Bernard founded the celebrated chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy in 1984 and built them to international renown. He stepped down in 2014 after 30 years as Music Director. He now joins the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in their fifth decade, succeeding Pablo Heras-Casado. Bernard plans to regularly incorporate his chamber choir, La Chapelle de Québec into his annual work with St Luke’s, bringing together these two celebrated ensembles.
“The Orchestra of St. Luke’s appointment of Bernard Labadie is great for the Orchestra, for Carnegie Hall, and for music in New York City,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “Over the years, Bernard has become a wonderful musical friend to the team at Carnegie Hall, and his great artistry is much admired by our audiences. With his special expertise in the Baroque and Classical repertoire, he is sure to build on St. Luke’s strengths, exploring this music in even greater depth and developing a distinct artistic profile for the Orchestra’s programs at Carnegie Hall. It will be exciting to welcome him in this new role.”
“For nearly 40 years, Caramoor has been pleased to have Orchestra of St. Luke’s in residence each summer and to have hosted the first moment for many of its Principal Conductors to perform with the orchestra,” noted Caramoor CEO Jeffrey Haydon. “This summer, we are thrilled to welcome Bernard Labadie to Caramoor to conduct Orchestra of St. Luke’s in an all-Mozart program and to bring his acclaimed expertise in this repertoire to our audiences.”
Bernard is a regular guest conductor with all the major North American orchestras, and has appeared locally with the New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy presented by Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. His notable European engagements include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Hanover. Reviewing Labadie’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Tribune wrote that his “exhilarating” reading gave the audience a “Beethoven tailored for the early 21st century.”
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Now in its 42nd season, Orchestra of St. Luke’s grew out of a versatile chamber ensemble that began performing concerts at New York’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, OSL performs approximately 80 concerts each year, including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Caramoor Summer Season. A champion of new music, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, and given more than 175 world, US, and New York City premieres, including the New York premiere of John Adams’s Nixon in China and the world premieres of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem, Steve Reich’s Duet, and William Bolcom’s The Hawthorne Tree. The Orchestra has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label. OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, which provides rehearsal, recording, and performance space for more than 30,000 musicians annually, hosts free concerts and events for more than 10,000 New York City students and families, and provides after-school instrumental instruction for the 125+ members of the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s. For more information, visit OSLmusic.org.
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