Jean-Christophe Keck is a musicologist and conductor, born Briançon, France in 1964. He is particularly noted as a specialist in the works of Jacques Offenbach, and is the director of the complete critical edition in progress, named after both, Offenbach Edition Keck (OEK).
As a child he played tuba in the Briançon town band and after early studies at the école de musique de Briançon he attended for two years the Conservatoire de Marseille before entering the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris. There he followed courses in conducting with Jean-Sébastien Bérault, musicology and composition with Pierre Villette, vocal studies (tenor) with Christiane Eda-Pierre, and piano. He was struck early by a passion for the music of Offenbach, through the TV series Les Folies Offenbach with Michel Serrault, the recording of Belle Hélène conducted by René Leibowitz and that of Les Contes d'Hoffmann conducted by Pierre-Michel Le Conte, with Heinz Rehfuss. He also singles out conductors Jules Gressier, Marcel Cariven and Jean Doussard who managed to create miracles of music under difficult conditions.
Alongside a singing career, in which he was engaged at the (Opéra Bastille, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Opéra de Lyon), he also began to conduct. He was involved in film, radio and television including some of his own compositions.
He is the musical director of Pro 05, the chamber orchestra of the Hautes-Alpes, as well as the Festival lyrique des châteaux de Bruniquel (Tarn-et-Garonne). Since 2004, he has directed the Offenbach concerts of the Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup. In April 2012 he conducted Ba-ta-clan and Mesdames de la Halle for the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin.
For some years Jean-Christophe Keck has been leading the work to create a critical edition of all the works of Offenbach. The Offenbach Edition Keck is being published by Boosey & Hawkes. Already Keck's editions of La Périchole, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, La Vie Parisienne and Les Brigands have been successfully performed. His edition of the 1858 version of Orphée aux enfers has been highly praised. His researches have led him to acquire many important related documents and manuscripts. In a 2013 article he predicted that the edition OEK would when complete comprise 43 volumes, although he added "that won't be in my lifetime".
In 2002 the Festival de Radio-France Montpellier saw the recreation of Offenbach's grand opéra romantique Les Fées du Rhin in Keck's edition. The revivial of this important work won various prizes including the Prix Michel Garcin of the Académie du disque lyrique.
The Opéra-Théâtre de Metz created his opéra-bouffe Monsieur de Chimpanzé on a libretto by Jules Verne in November 2005, conducted by Dominique Trottein. Although a work set to the libretto had been premiered at the Bouffes-Parisiens in 1858, the music had been lost, and Keck composed an entirely new score.
Keck is also a producer and presenter for France Musique.
- as conductor
- Ballade Symphonique, Orchestre national de Montpellier, Accord, 2005
- Le Financier et le Savetier, et autre délices, Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup, Accord, 2007
- as musicologist
- Les Fées du Rhin with the Orchestre national de Montpellier, Friedemann Layer (conductor), Accord, 2003
- La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with Felicity Lott, Yann Beuron and François Le Roux; Marc Minkowski (conductor), Virgin Classics, 2005
- Concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre « Concerto militaire » with Jérôme Pernoo; Marc Minkowski (conductor), Archiv Produktion, 2006
Notes and references
- Keck, Jean-Christophe. Biographical note in CD 442 8964, Association des Concerts Pasdeloup/Universal, 2007.
- Une tranche de Keck? Lyre #02 Lettre d'information des Musiciens du Louvre, Grenoble, March-April-May 2006, p6-7.
- Christophe Mirambeau. Keck, la passion Offenbach (Portrait de Jean-Christophe Keck). Tétu, February 2007.
- Trailer for Ba-ta-clan, Academy of Music Hanns Eisler retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Newsdesk: New Offenbach Edition. Opera, February 2002, p162.
- Simeone, Nigel. No looking back. Musical Times, July 1, 2002.
- Report in Diapason on his acquisition of Offenbach's copy of the Mémoires de Berlioz. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Largo al factotum... The musicologist: Jean-Christophe Keck. Opera, December 2013, p1648.
- Lorraine - Opéra-Théâtre de Metz. Diapason Saison 2005-2006 Guide des Opéras, p35-36.
- OEK site, critical edition of the complete works of Offenbach