In 1965, when the ORTF Regional Orchestra was dissolved, the City of Marseille decided to create the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Marseille. In 1981, the new director of music János Fürst launched a campaign to create l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and it is thanks to the exclusive support of the municipality that the staff was then expanded to 88 musicians.
Since then, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille has aimed to disseminate not only the great works of the classical and romantic repertoire but also to pay tribute to 20th-century composers such as Messiaen, Tomasi, Lesur, Chaynes, Dutilleux, Florentz, Charpentier, Barber, Bernstein, Gershwin and Leon. The orchestra has worked together with famous conductors such as Jean-Claude Casadesus, Armin Jordan, Evelino Pidó and Nello Santi, as well as internationally renowned soloists such as Roberto Alagna, Patrizia Ciofi, Angela Georghiù, Ludovic Tézier, Olga Borodina, Mireille Delunsch, Natalie Dessay, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Brigitte Engerer and José van Dam. In addition, the orchestra participates in the actions offered by the Opéra towards young audiences, schoolchildren, students and handicapped. It also collaborates with other theaters and festivals and participated in several television productions. Since February 2012, Lawrence Foster has been the Music Director of the Marseille Philharmonic Orchestra, giving a new impetus to the orchestral phalanx.
Together with Maestro Foster, the orchestra performed in China and at the Bad Kissingen festival in 2014 and 2016. As from 2015, the orchestra plays at the Festival International de Piano de la Roque d’Anthéron every summer, and ocassionally at Chorégies d’Orange. In the summer of 2016, several PENTATONE recordings have been made.
Photo by Marie Geijsen