Trained as a pianist and organist, Emmanuelle Haïm studied the harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert and won numerous First Prizes at the Conservatoire National Superiéur de Musique in Paris. Her passion for vocal expression drew her to song, first at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles then at the CNSM. She has worked with many of today’s top vocal artists, often accompanying them in recital. Emmanuelle Haïm quickly developed a regular activity as an accompanist, and soon found herself on international stages as guest conductor.
In 2001, she won broad acclaim at the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, with Handel’s Rodelinda, then with Theodora, and became a faithful contributor to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In the summer of 2008 she presented Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea. She also regularly conducted the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Sinfonie Orchestra as well as the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra in Frankfurt. In March 2008 she conducted for the first time the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2000, Emmanuelle Haïm brought together accomplished singers and instrumentalists who shared not only their significant experience but also a stylistic temperament and vision both expressive and natural: she thus created her own ensemble of baroque music — Le Concert d’Astrée — which she led over the next three years on a steady path to success, from Paris to New York and in numerous festivals in France and abroad.
As of 2001, Le Concert d’Astrée and Emmanuelle Haïm began receiving support from the Fondation France Telecom, and signed an exclusive recording contract with Virgin Classics. In 2003, the orchestra received the Victoire de la Musique award for best ensemble of the year. Le Concert d’Astrée took residence at the Lille Opera in 2004, with stage performances of Handel’s Tamerlano then Monteverdi’s Orfeo (autumn 2005). The ensemble gave several concerts (Handel’s Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s C Minor Mass …) and also performed at the Rhine National Opera, the Théâtre de Caen, the Bordeaux Opera, as well as the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées — and abroad at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Barbican Centre of London, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Konzerthaus of Vienna, the festival of Potsdam… June 2005 marked the birth of the Concert d’Astrée choir, with a stage production of Rameau’s Boreades. The production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo also marked an occasion to hear the members of the vocal ensemble in soloist concerts of madrigals. After a tour of Handel’s Theodora in the autumn of 2006 came the stage productions of Bach’s Saint John Passion at the Théâtre du Châtelet (staging by Robert Wilson) in March and April 2007 and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Lille in May 2007 (staging by David McVicar). In December 2007, following the release of their recordings of Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat, the orchestra and choir of Le Concert d’Astrée gave a series of concerts in Caen, Paris, London, Rome and Madrid. In February and March 2008, came the stage production of Lully’s Thésée, (staging by Jean-Louis Martinoty) at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, then at the Lille Opera. In the autumn of 2008 there followed Le Nozze di Figaro of Mozart, in a staging by Jean-François Sivadier at the Lille Opera, then with the soloists of Le Concert d’Astrée a production based on Purcell’s Fairy Queen, (staging by Wouter van Looy) and in March 2009 J.P. Rameau’s Hyppolite et Aricie at the Capitole de Toulouse in a stage production by Ivan Alexandre. In November 2008, on the occasion of a major tour in Germany and the Benelux, Le Concert d’Astrée performed for the first time at the hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. For Virgin Classics, Le Concert d’Astrée recorded Handel’s Arcadian Duets, Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Il Delirio amoroso and Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Carestini / The Story of a Castrato with Philippe Jaroussky, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat, as well as Mozart’s C Minor Mass under the direction of Louis Langree. Hailed by the critics and awarded multiple prizes, these recordings marked intense encounters with many of today’s greatest singers.
A faithful representative of the baroque and French musical tradition, Emmanuelle Haïm is Chevalier d’Arts et Letters. She was made a knight of the Legion of Honour in July 2009.
LE CONCERT D’ASTRÉE
Ensemble founded in 2000 by Emmanuelle Haïm and dedicated to baroque music, Le Concert d’Astrée has experienced extremely rapid success. It received in 2003 the Victoire de la Musique award for best ensemble of the year. In residence at the Lille Opera since 2004, the orchestra each season gives numerous performances and added a choir in 2005.
It has performed throughout France (Rhine National Opera, Bordeaux Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées) and abroad (Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Barbican Centre of London, Lincoln Center in New York, Konzerthaus of Vienna, Festival of Salzburg, Berliner Philharmonie).
It has won plaudits for its many lyric productions: Bach’s Saint John Passion (staging by Robert Wilson), Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Orlando (staging by David McVicar), Lully’s Thésée (staging by Jean-Louis Martinoty), Le Nozze di Figaro (staging by Jean-François Sivadier), (After) The Fairy Queen by Purcell (staging by Wouter van Looy), Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (staging by Ivan Alexandre) and Dardanus (staging by Claude Buchvald). The 2010-2011 season marked its debut at the Paris Opera with Giulio Cesare (staging by Laurent Pelly).
Le Concert d’Astrée maintains an extensive international presence, with tours of Handel’s Theodora in 2006, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat in 2007, Handel’s Resurrection and Messiah in 2009, and this season the Grands Motets of Rameau and Mondonville.
At Virgin Classics, it has recorded Handel’s Arcadian Duets, Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Il Delirio amoroso, Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno and the Resurrection, Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Carestini / The Story of a Castrato, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s C Minor Mass (direction Louis Langree), Bach Cantatas, Lamenti (best recording, Victoires de la Musique 2009). The latest release of Le Concert d’Astrée is a recording of arias from Giulio Cesare, with Natalie Dessay (Cleopatra – issued January 2011).
Mécénat Musical Société Genérale is the principal patron of Le Concert d’Astrée.
In residence at the Lille Opera, Le Concert d’Astrée is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication - DRAC Nord-Pas de Calais.