Louis Langrée


The French conductor Louis Langrée is Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York (a position he has held since 2002), Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Camerata Salzburg.   His first concert as Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra included a performance of Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait (narrated by Dr Maya Angelou). During the season he will also conduct world premiere performances by Nico Muhly and David Lang and works by Brahms, Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin and Jennifer Higdon.  His collaboration with the Camerata Salzburg will include concerts in Berlin, Baden-Baden, Vienna, Salzburg, Naples and Bucharest. During the 2013/14 season Louis makes his debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (Don Giovanni) and the Wiener Symphoniker at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. He will also continue his regular appearances with the Wiener Staatsoper (La Traviata), Opéra Comique in Paris (Pelléas et Mélisande).

Highlights of the 2012/13 season included Louis Langrée’s debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus and NHK Symphony in Tokyo, as well as re-invitations to the Orchestre de Paris, Budapest Festival and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras. He also returned to the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Dialogues des Carmélites), with whom he has a long term relationship.

Louis Langrée has conducted the Wiener Philharmoniker in concert in both Vienna and Salzburg. He has worked with many other orchestras in North America, Europe and further afield, including the London Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Sao Paulo and Tokyo Philharmonic. He also regularly conducts chamber orchestras including the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Academy of St Martin in the Fields and period instrument ensembles: the Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestra of the Age of Enligtenment  and Le Concert d’Astrée. Festival appearances have included Wiener Festwochen, Salzburg Mozartwoche, BBC Proms, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. He has held positions as Music Director of the Orchestre de Picardie (1993-98) and Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (2001-06). 

Louis Langrée was Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon (1998-2000) and Glyndebourne Touring Opera (1998-2003). He has also conducted at La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra-Bastille and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dresden Staatsoper, Grand Théâtre in Geneva and the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.

Louis Langrée’s discography includes recordings for Virgin Classics, Universal and Naïve.  Many of these have won awards including Diapason d’Or, Gramophone and Midem Classical.  His most recent release is a DVD of La Traviata recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra for Virgin Classics, which has been awarded a Diapason D'Or. In 2006 he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

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Cincinnati SO

Louis Langrée is Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
His first concerts as Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra included Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait (narrated by Dr Maya Angelou). During the season he will also conduct world premiere performances by Nico Muhly and David Lang and works by Brahms, Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin and Jennifer Higdon.  
One City, One Symphony.
Free download of Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4 and Mozart's Davide Penitente here.
LumenoCity, August 2013
The 2014/15 season will open with a gala concert staring Lang Lang as soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1.  Louis will also conduct world premiere performances of music by André Previn, Caroline Shaw and Daniel Bjarnsason, as well as works by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mahler.

More information here.

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Camerata Salzburg

Louis Langrée has been Chief Conductor of Camerata Salzburg since September 2011.
He has conducted the orchestra regularly in Salzburg, in the orchestra's own subscription series and at the Mozartwoche. Elsewhere they have performed to great critical acclaim in Paris, Munich, Budapest, Vienna and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. This season their concerts include Berlin, Baden-Baden, Vienna, Salzburg, Naples and Bucharest. 

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Concert 26 February 2014

Orchèstre de Camps-Elysées

He conducted the Orchèstre des Champs-Elysées with generosity, but without damaging the clarity of sound. The musicians responded to his fervour and produced a Symphony [Chausson] full of zeal, grandeur and wonder (with a magnificent slow movement). Concertoclassic.com

Opéra Comique

Pelléas et Mélisande

From the introduction, the mysterious awakening of the chorus, to the powerful, evocative movement of the sea, Louis Langrée was the magnificent facilitator.

Le Monde 21 February 2014

Concert 11 January 2014

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"The concerto (Brahms Piano Concerto No.1) was also a showcase for the orchestra. The orchestral exposition caught the turbulent emotion of this work, and Langrée drew extraordinary sonorities from his musicians throughout. Phrasing was beautifully shaped in the show movement. The conductor was alert to the pianist’s every move, even in her adrenalin-charged finale."
Cincinnati.Com, Janelle Gelfand 11 January 2014


Rhapsody in Blue

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"But the orchestra was terrific, starting with Jonathan Gunn’s bluesy clarinet smear at the top, answered by slurs in the trombones. Langrée went for a detached, 1920s-jazz style for his players, and it proved to be irresistible.
Cincinnati.Com, Janelle Gelfand 30 November 2013

Inaugural concerts as Music Director

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"Louis Langrée did not have to conduct a note to earn a standing ovation in his inaugural concert as the 13th music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Friday night.

As he walked onto Music Hall’s stage, the French maestro was given a Cincinnati welcome — the first of several times during the evening that listeners were on their feet. You could feel the electricity in Music Hall’s lobbies and the packed, 3,417-seat Springer Auditorium, which was officially sold out.

Langrée’s direction of Copland’s score [A Lincoln Portrait], woven with wide-open harmonies and American folk tunes, was engaging. His direct approach to the music made it that much more gripping.

In the second half, the conductor strode out and plunged quickly into Beethoven’s Fifth. Leading without a score, his direction was adrenalin-charged and propelled by brisk tempos and inner drive.

The musicians responded with energized, precise playing. There was red-blooded sound in the strings and orchestral soloists shone. Most of all, you couldn’t help but notice that Langrée smiled throughout the entire performance. That joy communicated into the hall."
Cincinnati Enquirer, November 2013
"For his inaugural program in Cincinnati, Louis Langrée deftly combined nods to the orchestra’s history, the city’s musical life and new music. Friday’s concert opened with Jennifer Higdon’s On a Wire, a sprightly chamber concerto composed in 2010 for the young sextet called eighth blackbird...

The muscle and emotion of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, which was commissioned by the orchestra and had its premiere in 1942, highlighted the ensemble’s characteristic sound: the different sections adroitly balanced and focused yet never harsh, with bronzed, burnished brasses infusing a strings section that plays with warm, cohesive bite. Ms. Angelou brought her inimitable combination of majesty and folksiness to the speaking part, drawn from Lincoln’s writings, ferociously digging into the final words of the Gettysburg Address.

...Mr. Langrée’s brisk, tight interpretation [of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony] was reminiscent of many of his performances of the Classical repertory at Mostly Mozart: polished and impressively energetic if somehow weightless, with movements that propelled forward without accumulating intensity. 

Mr. Langrée has thrown himself into life with the orchestra; buying a home in the city, as he has, is no longer a guarantee for globe-trotting music directors. In August, he and the ensemble drew 35,000 people over two performances to LumenoCity, an outdoor concert and light show in Washington Park."
New York Times, November 2013


Dialoges des Carmélites

Metropolitan Opera New York

"The Met has always focused Poulenc’s musings on martyrdom and the crisis of faith in revolutionary France with tragic intensity. This performance, the first of only three as the season nears its end, upheld the noble tradition. Louis Langrée reinforced both introspection and propulsion in the pit."  Finnancial Times 7 May 2013 (5 Stars)
"Last seen there 10 years ago, the production returned on Saturday afternoon for a three-performance run. It was as austerely powerful as ever, ennobled by an exceptional cast and the purposeful conducting of Louis Langrée...The harmonic language combines tart modern, milky Impressionist sonorities with echoes of modal French sacred music from earlier times. All of these qualities were brought out in the urgent and nuanced performance Mr. Langrée drew from the Met orchestra."  New York Times 6 May 2013


Symphony No 9

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"you couldn’t miss the joy in Louis Langrée’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Thursday in Music Hall.The orchestra’s music director-designate brought a distinctly
personal view to this monumental work...this was Beethoven that was clear, measured and deeply felt."

Cincinnati.com, 16 November 2012.


Symphony in D Minor

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"Lyrical melodies breathed and were phrased with moving beauty as the music moved from darkness to light.
It was clear, too, that he felt the three-movement symphony in one great arc. Tempos were unhurried and Langrée expertly balanced its many moods. Yet he also led with intensity, joy and a momentum that swept the listener along. The sound that Langrée cultivated in the orchestra was warm, with organ-like sonorities in the basses and low brass. Brass chorales were noble and refined. Even the pizzicato strings and harp in the slow movement had remarkable color."

Cincinnati.com, November 2012


Clemenza di Tito

Wiener Staatsoper

"Under his baton, the Vienna State Opera orchestra straddled with aplomb a score that moves from the staid pomp of the
imperial palace to the passionate tempos of love and betrayal. The music can flow slowly here, tripped up by the many recitative passages, but Langree managed to avoid the orchestral stagnation that often characterizes the first act."

Huffington Post, 21 May 2012.

Verdi La Traviata DVD

Recorded at Aix-en-Provence Festival 2011. Released on Virgin Classics.

"Conductor Louis Langrée delivers a sensitive musical performance. Altogether an outstanding
production of La traviata."
BBC Music Magazine, May 2012

Concert: 16 March 2012

St Louis Symphony Orchestra

"Langrée, working without scores for the evening, brought a spirit of youthful freshness and energy to the proceedings, and led with an appealing clarity throughout." St. Louis Today, 17 March 2012


La Traviata


"There’s also plenty to relish in the bloom and finesse of the London Symphony Orchestra, as conducted by Louis Langrée; the sound’s especially succulent in the Act III prelude." EMI Classics


La Clemenza di Tito

Barbican, London

"Much of the performance's force, however, was ultimately due to Langrée, who has a wonderful understanding of the tricky balance between majesty and urgency that characterises the score." Guardian, 23 February 2012


Leonore Overture

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Avery Fisher Hall, New York

"Mr. Langrée elicited sharply etched phrasing and plenty of tension in the strings in a convincingly dramatic interpretation of this moody piece" New York Times, 14 August 2011


Symphony No 7

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"The conductor brought out the drama in this score, leading with a sharp ear for detail as well as for the work’s overall scope. The finale was electric. Langrée pulled back in the sweeter moments, yet he kept the undercurrent of tension, always communicating the joy as well as the drama of Beethoven’s music." Cincinnati.com, 8 August 2011


La Traviata

London Symphony Orchestra, Aix-en-Provence Festival

"Louis Langrée had dramatic tension, he breathed with the singers and under his direction the LSO gave much elegance to the production."

Le Figaro, 8 July 2011


Pelléas et Mélisande

Barbican, London

“Louis Langrée conducted the Orchestre de Paris here, establishing at the outset the mood of threatening beauty on which the piece depends.  Textures were exquisite yet dangerous inhabiting borderline territory between sensuousness and sensuality.” The Guardian, 26 April 2011


Tragic Overture

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

"Langree's fastidious yet emotional direction explored the intricate details and the soaring phrases of this microcosm of Brahms' orchestral writing style. The ability to harness emotion and reason in elegant fashion is a rare but necessary quality for a world-class conductor. Langree showed he is such an artist." Cincinnati.com, 11 March 2011