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Paul Kuentz (Conductor)

Born: May 4, 1930 - Mulhouse, France

The Frech conductor, Paul Kuentz, studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1947 to 1950, with Noël Gallon, Georges Huron and Eugene Bigot.

Paul Kuentz founded the Paul Kuentz Chamber Orchestra in 1951. Soon Kuentz and his new ensemble began attracting attention for their performances of early music. He made with his orchestra many tours of Europe and the USA, including the orchestral works of J.S. Bach at the Church of Saint-Séverin in Paris and a notable concert at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1968. He performed frequently French music, including premieres of works by Pierre Max Dubois Jacques Casterede and Jacques Charpentier. He 1956 he married the violinist Monique Frasca-Colombier, with whom he has since appeared in many concerts and on several recordings.

In 1972, Paul Kuentz founded his own chorus, the Paul Kuentz Choir (Chorale Paul Kuentz), and employed it regularly in concerts and recordings. Over the years Kuentz befriended and performed with some of the leading musicians of the day, including cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, with whom he recorded a disc of Baroque harp concertos for Deutsche Grammophon in 1989. Among Kuentz's earlier recordings was his acclaimed two-CD set on Pierre Verany of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) in 1987. Further successful Bach recordings followed, as well as a spate of others for various labels.

Paul Kuentz has become best known as a conductor of music from the Baroque and Classical periods. In particular, he has achieved acclaim for his readings of works by J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Haydn, Mozart, Rossini (instrumental music), and many other major and minor 17th and 18th century composers. But Kuentz's repertoire has also extended into later periods, taking in works by Glazunov, Ibert, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Orff, and others. While Kuentz has largely remained a lesser known figure, he has been prolific in the recording studio, appearing in numerous releases for EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and smaller labels like Pierre Verany. Often he has made recordings released as theme albums, such as The Magic Flute, Blue Classics, and many others.

Recordings include: J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suites, Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) and Musikalisches Opfer (BWV 1079), A. Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and other concertos; Flute concertos by Haydn, Blavet, Mozart, Leclair and G.B. Pergolesi; Music by Delalande, Mouret, Gabrieli and Gluck; Mozart's Concerto K 299, Requiem, Bastien und Bastienne and Church Sonatas; Harp concertos by George Frideric Handel, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Boieldieu, Wagenseil and Ditterdorf; Haydn Symphonies Nos. 85 and 101 (EMI); Other labels include Decca and Deutsche Grammophon.

Paulk Kuentz often recorded with other orchestras, or in rare instances with his own as well as another ensemble. His acclaimed 1995 recording of Orff's Carmina Burana, for instance, employed both his own ensemble and the Orchestre des Concerts du Conservatoire. Kuentz's recent releases are reissues of older recordings and include the 2006 Deutsche Grammophon CD A Baroque Guitar Weekend. Recently he published on his own label Collection Paul Kuentz (CPK) both remastering of his older recordings and new recordings, inclding two albums of solo Bach Cantatas.

Source: International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93) All Music Guide (Author: Robert Cummings)
Contributed by:
Aryeh Oron (November 2005, September 2011)

Paul Kuentz: Short Biography | Paul Kuentz Choir & Chamber Orchestra | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Paul Kuentz (Official Website) [French]

Paul Kuentz - Biography (AMG)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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