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Born in France, conductor and harpsichordist EMMANUELLE HAÏM is artistic director of the orchestra and chorus of Le Concert d’Astrée. She studied harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset, and her love for voice led her to concentrate on conducting vocal music, first at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, then at the Paris Conservatory, where she taught from 1990 to 2002. After working with numerous renowned soloists as a continuo player, she soon became in-demand internationally as a guest conductor. In 2001 she scored a notable success with Handel’s Rodelinda, then, in 2003, Theodora, for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Since then she has appeared regularly at the Glyndebourne Festival, conducting Handel’s Giulio Cesare in 2006 and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2008. She has also conducted the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (the orchestra of Hessischer Rundfunk). In March 2008 she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, returning in June 2011 for a program of Handel and Rameau, and for collaboration with the choreographer Vivienne Newport for the orchestra’s Zukunft@BPhil Dance Project.
In 2000 Haïm gathered together a group of accomplished singers and instrumentalists, who shared a common musical temperament and an expressive and natural stylistic approach. With them she formed her own ensemble, Le Concert d’Astrée, with which she has rapidly achieved success both with the French Baroque repertoire (Rameau, Lully) and with the works of Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel, and Mozart, giving performances at venues from Paris to New York, and at festivals both in France and abroad. In 2003 Le Concert d’Astrée was named the best ensemble of the year in the Victoires de la Musique Classique.
Le Concert d’Astrée became ensemble-in-residence at Lille Opéra in 2004, presenting staged performances every year, starting with Handel’s Tamerlano. The ensemble has also given concerts in Lille and elsewhere in the French provinces (Opéra National du Rhin, Théâtre de Caen, Bordeaux Opéra, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse) as well as in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and abroad at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Barbican Centre, London, New York’s Lincoln Center, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Potsdam Festival.
Haïm has collaborated with stage directors such as Jean-François Sivadier, Robert Carsen, Robert Wilson, David McVicar, Sandrine Anglade, Stuart Seide, and Giorgio Barberio Corsetti. She has conducted staged performances which include Lully’s Thésée, Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, and, in early 2011, a new production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare at Paris Opera.
Since 2001 Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée have recorded exclusively for Virgin Classics. Their discs have consistently earned praise from the critics and numerous prizes, including Grammy nominations both for Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and for Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, as well as awards from the Victoires de la Musique Classique for Lamenti in 2009 and for a disc with Philippe Jaroussky, Carestini: The Story of a Castrato in 2008. Most recently, Haïm joined with Jaroussky and the Concerto Köln for a recording of operatic airs by Caldara, Caldara in Vienna (Virgin Classics) and with Natalie Dessay and Le Concert d’Astrée for a recording of airs from Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra).
Emmanuelle Haïm became Chevalier Légion d’Honneur in 2009, and is Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She holds an honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music, London.