Founded in 2011 by conductor Claire Gibault, the Paris Mozart Orchestra is a unique artistic ensemble – committed, daring and unanimous in its sense of purpose. Through challenging and innovative programming, the PMO champions both classical and contemporary music, while advancing the accessibility of the arts in a generous spirit of open-hearted partnership. Alive to every audience, boldly exploring every new horizon, the Paris Mozart Orchestra is an orchestra like no other.
The PMO performs as naturally at prestigious French concert halls such as the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Philharmonie in Paris or the Arsenal in Metz, as in prisons, hospitals and school canteens. We believe that strong artistic choices are inseparable from a strong social commitment.
Showcasing the talents of the outstanding soloists of the Paris Mozart Orchestra – among them, the members of the acclaimed Psophos Quartet and Hélios Trio – lies at the heart of the PMO project. The PMO also strives to promote an equal number of women in principal positions, paving the way for greater inclusion and diversity. The ensemble regularly collaborates with world-class artists such as sopranos Natalie Dessay, mezzo Karine Deshayes and pianist Anne Queffélec, as well as outstanding young soloists such as pianist Marie-Ange Nguci, trumpet player Lucienne Renaudin-Vary or harp player Anaïs Gaudemard.
Among its recent concert, the PMO made its debut at the Stresa Festival (Italy), French May Festival (Hong Kong) and Folle Journée Festival. Among its forthcoming projects, it will perform Beethoven in the Loire Valley region, and tour in Italy and Mexico with contemporary repertoire.
The PMO’s 1st CD focused on Fabio Vacchi’s melologue Soudain dans la Forêt Profonde. Its 2nd recording, Pictures of America (Sony Classical, 2016) was a collaboration with star singer Natalie Dessay. In 2018, the acclaimed graphic novel Pygmalion by Sandrine Revel featured a recording of Georg Benda’s Pygmalion melologue by the PMO.
The PMO is supported by its principal patron the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso.
Musical and artistic Director Claire Gibault
Claire Gibault began her career at the Opéra National de Lyon before becoming the first woman to conduct the Filarmonica della Scala and the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has conducted prestigious French and interna-tional institutions and has been invited to conduct orchestras in Europe and Japan. Music director for a number of insti-tutions such as the Atelier Lyrique and Children’s Choir of the Opéra National de Lyon, she has conducted many opera productions (Rossini, Berlioz, Ravel, Gluck, Britten, Mozart, Henze…).
In 2011, Claire Gibault formed the Paris Mozart Orchestra. A passionate advocate of contemporary music, she regularly collaborates with leading composers such as Graciane Finzi, Wolfgang Rihm, Silvia Colasanti, Fabio Vacchi and Edith Canat de Chizy.
Recent engagements include the world premiere of Jean-Claude Petit’s opera Colomba at the Opéra de Marseille, Mah-ler’s 10th Symphony, the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Veronica Franco with Milano’s Orchestra Verdi, as well as tours in Europe with her own Paris Mozart Orchestra. In 2018 she conducted the Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (Mexico) in works by Chopin and Berlioz, and was also part of the jury for its international conducting competition.
Claire Gibault is high on demand as a tutor for conducting masterclasses. She recently appeared with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s National Opera Studio and Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and has been running her own masterclass series in Paris for 3 years.
In 2010 Claire Gibault her autobiography “Music barehanded”. She was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour by the French governement in 2016. In 2017 the French Minister of Culture awarded her the title of Commander of the Arts and Letters.
What is a Mélologue
Since Claire Gibault founded the Paris Mozart Orchestra in 2011, one remarkable but too-rarely heard musical genre has been the chosen mainstay of the PMO’s programming: the mélologue, a dramatic narration alternating with illustrative, emotionally-charged instrumental music.
First heard 250 years ago, the mélologue has proved, in the hands of today’s composers, to be fresher, more relevant and more accessible than ever. Contemporary mélologues often include a visual element such as film, painting or drawing, echoing the painted back-drops that embellished many historic performances. Berlioz was the first musician to use the world mélologue, borrowing from Irish poet Thomas Moore, to characterise the 1832 version of his Lélio – rejecting out of hand “mélodrame” as a word tainted by negative connotations. The word mélodrame carries those negative associations to this day.
In reviving and promoting the genre the Paris Mozart Orchestra has chosen to follow Berlioz, adopting the less provocative and more intriguing mélologue derived from the Greek melos and logos.