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The Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by Benoit Fromanger: "a transcendent musical experience"

„It is in a friendly atmosphere that Bizet, Ibert and Chausson have been interpreted in the Maisonneuve Sylvain Lelièvre's hall on Friday.
The Metropolitan Orchestra and guest conductor Benoit Fromanger have captivated the audience from the outset, with a "unique" sound that revisits these three modern composers.
What distinguishes the Metropolitan Orchestra is this impression that we are bound to him the space of a concert. It is the warmth with which the conductor talks about the composers, and his obvious complicity with the musicians. It's a final at the exceptional peak we fill the heart and soul. Fromanger has the art to convey the modern orchestral music and to make fall in love anyone who will lend ear.“

Roxanne Gadoua
Montréal express, 18 January 2011

„He has precise gestures, a gripping gaze, and apparent empathy with the musicians. Benoît Fromanger is an astonishing conductor, able like no other to mobilize his troops and inspire them to give their best. To see him is to know that he has worked with the greats: Kleiber, Maazel, Bernstein, Haitink, Barenboim, Muti, Mehta …
Fromanger gave a brilliant start to this second phase of his career; we were pleased and proud to experience it with him. A star is born, that much is certain!“

Philip de la Croix
Director for Mezzo TV, director of the concert season Prima La Musica !



Interview
Benoît Fromanger - From the flute to the baton

The flutist Benoît Fromanger launches his conducting career. He explains what brought him to this new passion.

„Currently I work as a guest soloist and as a professor at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. I played principal flute at the Paris Opera for ten years and after that at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for eleven years. So I have gotten to know many, many conductors. Conducting an ensemble requires a very different approach to music and a very different way of giving expression to a musical message. It is a new experience which will certainly not mean that I give up my instrument.

How can the two occupations, instrumentalist and conductor, be combined?
What is certain is that I don’t want to be another one of those soloists who, upon arriving at a certain age, „vaguely„ picks up conducting … If someone had told me four years ago that I would start a career as a conductor, I would have been more surprised than anyone! I felt the desire to do this work deep inside myself. I think I have gathered experience and knowledge that I can communicate. And also, I know the orchestra from the inside; I know the ability of musicians to react … The fact that I have experienced the greatest conductors at work, such as Bernstein and Kleiber, the advice I receive from Professor Rolf Reuter in Berlin, who served as General Music Director in Leipzig, and also the support of Valéry Gergiev help me to adjust my instrumentalist habits and enrich my conducting technique. I want to be more than just an occasional conductor. I am taking on this work in all of its depth, and I consider the various aesthetic aspects, the work of creating programs. The resonance of the various musical genres among themselves has always fascinated me …

What are your next projects as conductor and as flutist?
In January, I conduct the Ostinato Orchestra in a program of works by Philippe Hersant, Haydn and Mendelssohn, then I will conduct other groups in France and in Turkey. Conducting already makes up a fourth of my musical activities. I am invited regularly as a soloist and sometimes I play as a guest in various ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. I have no idea how I’ll organize all of it. But I find this adventure very exciting, because above all it is still very much about the idea of enjoyment.“

The interview was carried out by Stéphane Friedrich for La lettre du musicien (03/2007).
With the support of the Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes and overseen by Lionel Bringuier.
Translation: Maggie Coe