European Camerata is one of Europe’s finest Chamber Orchestras, frequently appearing at prestigious venues and festivals throughout the world. With a reputation for passionate and vibrant music making, the players perform standing, without conductor, reflecting the style and aesthetic of the 18th century orchestra.
The ethos of the orchestra is based on three basic principles:
* Sharing the values of Europe’s musical traditions. The ensemble is project based. All members take part in the life of the orchestra. Communal discussions regarding both the choice of repertoire and matters of interpretation are encouraged.
* Playing standing up, without conductor. Through the total involvement of its players, the ensemble achieves a high degree of unanimity of spirit. The absence of any rigid structure fosters interpretative freedom. Playing standing up enables better communication amongst them and with the audience.
* Friendship. The mutual friendship between members is embodied by their quest for high artistic standards. They promote the values of sharing through music. The approach therefore resembles the experience of chamber music.
In 1995, following the European Union Youth Orchestra’s summer course, violinist Laurent Quenelle was inspired to create a permanent ensemble which embodied EUYO’s spirit, quality and cultural diversity. Soon after the European Camerata’s first concert in Spain, they rapidly gained a strong reputation and were immediately invited to perform at numerous well-known European venues and festivals. William Lyne from the Wigmore Hall, was a keen supporter and offered the ensemble regular appearances. Subsequent venues in London included St John’s Smith Square and at LSO St Luke’s. In France and in Belgium, Camerata performed at such prestigious festivals as Auvers sur Oise, Divonne, Classique au Vert in Paris, Flâneries musicales de Reims and the Périgord Noir Festival. In 2001 they opened the Würzburg Mozart Festival in Germany. During memorable and highly successful tours of both Asia and North Africa, the orchestra created a strong bond with their public through their concerts and educational scheme. They recently made their debut in Rotterdam at the Gergiev Festival and the Berlioz Festival in France with Nathalie Stutzmann.
European Camerata’s discography includes works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arthur Honegger and Nicolas Bacri, to name a few. Their first recording for Fuga Libera - the ensemble’s label since 2008 - is devoted to Benjamin Britten’s works for string orchestra. They recently released a second album of Felix Mendelssohn’s string symphonies. Both have received International critical acclaim and have received a variety of awards (Repertoire, Diapason, Classica).
European Camerata’s interest in new music has led them to collaborate with composers such as Thierry Escaich, Pascal Dusapin and Nicolas Bacri. The make-up of the ensemble varies according to the demands of the music. From Baroque to contemporary, the ensemble presents a wide and eclectic repertoire that reflects the cultural and musical diversity of its members. They have also established strong relationships with well-known soloists such as François Leleux, Olivier Charlier, Michel Dalberto, Cédric Tiberghien, Peter Frankel, Marcela Roggeri and Ophélie Gaillard..
European Camerata is regularly welcomed in their residency at the Centre for European Culture in Saint-Jean-d’Angély (Poitou-Charentes Region).