Paris’ new performance venue: La Seine Musicale

This month sees the opening of Paris’ newest performance venue – La Seine Musicale – with the inaugural concerts taking place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April.

The venue

Standing on the site of a former Renault factory, La Seine Musicale is part of an ongoing project to transform Seguin Island into a vibrant asset for the city, with “culture for all” at the heart of the project. Dormant since the factory closed in 1992, the first stone of the new building – designed by architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines – was laid on 5 July 2014.

“the Hauts-de-Seine Valley of Culture project, initiated by the President of the Department, proposes to awaken a geography that gave the department its name but which has long been untapped: the loop of the Seine d ‘ Issy-les-Moulineaux to Nanterre.” – La Seine Musicale website

The centre will present an eclectic programme – from rock to electro, and a classical series with ensemble in residence Insula Orchestra – all under the artistic direction of Jean-Luc Choplin.

In an interview with French online magazine Liberation, M. Chaplin promises to “break the barriers between categories, try to make the sophisticated more popular, or the popular more sophisticated. Here, we are in a polyphony, without hierarchy between the genres, not in a philharmonic [hall] … I want a young and dancing place.”

As well as two performance halls, La Seine Musicale will contain recording and rehearsal studios, restaurants, and retail spaces. With ecological ambitions, the roof will house a large public garden, and the venue will generate energy through a large solar panel, which moves around the shell of the auditorium.

The programme

Our Tours & Projects department are delighted to be working with the venue, bringing two world-class ensembles as part of the opening season: BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) in May, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) in July.

BBC NOW will become the first international orchestra to perform at the venue, when they present a programme of Britten, Shostakovich and Sibelius with Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård and violinist James Ehnes on 19 May.

Michael Garvey, Director of BBC National Orchestra of Wales said: “La Seine Musicale is sure to be an exciting new cultural hub for Paris and it’s an honour to be the first international orchestra to perform here. It’s always exciting to bring our music making to new audiences and I’d like to thank Laurence Equilbey and the Insula orchestra for their kind invitation.”

In July, AAADT will give 20 performances across two and half weeks, as part of their extensive European summer tour, and under the auspices of Les Etés de la Danse. Giving the first dance performances in the venue, they will present five distinct programmes, as well as an opening night gala featuring extracts from each of the programmes.

Outside our Tours department, soprano Sylvia Schwartz will join Insula orchestra, the hall’s ensemble-in-residence, on 24 and 25 June for Mozart’s Mass in C minor, conducted by the ensemble’s Artistic and Music Director, Laurence Equilbey.

Full details

19 May 2017

BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a
SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5, Op. 82 in E-flat major

Violin: James Ehnes

Conductor: Thomas Søndergård
BBC National Orchestra of Wales

View tour page | More info

24 & 25 June 2017

MOZART Mass in C minor

Soprano: Mari Eriksmoen
Soprano: Sylvia Schwartz
Tenor: Reinoud van Mechelen
Baritone: Philippe Estèphe

Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
Insula orchestra

More info

4-22 July 2017
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Full programme details available here.

View tour page | More info

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