Les Siècles, formed in the summer of 2003 by François-Xavier Roth, comprises outstanding young players pooled from the very finest French ensembles. François-Xavier Roth’s founding ambition was for his orchestra to offer a new approach, not only to repertoire but also to the nature of the concert form. Since its formation, Les Siècles has applied theories of historically informed performance to the practical business of making music.
With a vast period-instrument collection at its disposal, spanning the baroque, classical, romantic and modern eras, the orchestra’s repertoire is notably wide in range. Les Siècles is one of a small number of ensembles to employ period and modern instruments, often in the same concert. Its flexible and historically informed work delivers a unique strand of creative programming. The orchestra’s musicians have assembled an arsenal of instruments appropriate to the period and place of works created by composers as diverse as Lully, Rameau, J.S. Bach, Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri Shostakovich. Under François-Xavier Roth’s direction, Les Siècles regularly employs period instruments for works in a concert’s first half before exchanging them for their modern equivalents to perform music by living composers after the interval.
François-Xavier Roth and the musicians of Les Siècles have made a distinctive mark at home and abroad, presenting an orchestra for the 21st century. They have given well over seventy performances in France alone, including regular performances in Paris (Cité de la Musique, Théâtre du Châtelet, Salle Gaveau, Opéra Comique) and appearances at leading festivals throughout France. In addition to its work in France, Les Siècles is increasingly visible on the international scene. Its global profile has been magnified in recent seasons with concerts in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, London, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Japan.
The aim of the label Les Siècles Live is to recreate all the energy and enthusiasm of a live performance onto the disc, while also harnessing the refinement and precision of studio technology. Any profits are reinvested directly into the Les Siècles musicians association and used to finance new recording or performance projects.