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Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

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The Orchestre de la Société des concerts du Conservatoire was a symphony orchestra established in Paris in 1828. It gave its first concert on 9 March 1828 with music by Beethoven, Rossini, Meifreid, Rode and Cherubini.

Administered by the philharmonic association of the Conservatoire de Paris, the orchestra consisted of professors of the Conservatoire and their pupils. It was formed by François-Antoine Habeneck in pioneering fashion, aiming to present Beethoven's symphonies, but over time it became more conservative in its programming.[1]

Its long existence kept the tradition of playing taught at the Conservatoire prominent in French musical life.[1] The orchestra occupied the center-stage of French musical life throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries. A major tour of the US took place in 1918, appearing in 52 cities. Later that year it made the first of its many recordings.[2]

In 1967, financial difficulties, along with irregular work for the players and poor pay led to a decision by the French government to form a new orchestra. Following auditions chaired by Charles Munch, 108 musicians were chosen (of whom 50 were from the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra) for the newly created Orchestre de Paris, which gave its first concert on 14 November 1967 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.[3]

The chief conductors of the orchestra were:[4]

No principal conductor was appointed during the orchestra's final years 1960–1967.

Notable premieres given by the orchestra include Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 1, and Franck's Symphony in D minor.

The Paris Conservatoire Orchestra also made the first recording of Debussy's La mer with conductor Piero Coppola in 1928.


  1. ^ a b Nichols R. The Harlequin Years – Music in Paris 1917–1929. Thames and Hudson, London, 2002.
  2. ^ Morin P. Notes for the Vogue CD set 'L'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire', 1990.
  3. ^ Desarbre H. Notes for the Vogue CD set 'L'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire', 1990.
  4. ^ D. Kern Holoman (2004). "Société des Concerts: Conductors". Retrieved 2007-05-26.