Founded in 1982 by Marc Minkowski, les Musiciens du Louvre • Grenoble (= MDLG) are closely associated with the revival of Baroque music in France, but also more generally with the interpretation of music on original instruments and in the appropriate style of a given epoch. The artistic project of the Musiciens du Louvre • Grenoble is therefore to progressively propose a fresh look at the symphonic and operatic repertoire from the baroque period through to modern music, and to put back into this repertoire certain works which have been left out for obscure or unjustified reasons. This project makes Les Musiciens du Louvre • Grenoble one of the most versatile, inventive and original orchestras in the world.
The orchestra has made its reputation with critically acclaimed interpretations of Händel, Purcell and Rameau, but also of Haydn and W.A. Mozart amongst others. Taking this direction has naturally led them to defend later and later repertoires, with a particular predilection for French music of the 19th Century: Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique, Nuits d’été), Jacques Offenbach (La Belle Hélène, La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein at the Châtelet), but also Georges Bizet (Carmen and the Arlésienne music) and Gabriel Fauré (theatre music).
Opera has rapidly become an important part of the orchestra’s activities and its repertoire has expanded to embrace differing horizons: Monteverdi (L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2000 at the Aix-en-Provence Festival), Gluck (Armide in 1992), W.A. Mozart (The Magic Flute at the Ruhr Triennial, Adduction from the Seraglio at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Mitridate in 2005 for the Musiciens’ first appearance in the pit at the Salzburg Festival) and above the productions of Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck at the Paris Opera and G. Bizet’s Carmen at the Châtelet Theatre (May 2007) attracted unanimous critical approval for the orchestra’s contribution in particular. The diverse and high quality activity of the ensemble has enabled them to take on a number of important tours, in Eastern Europe, Asia and the USA.
Since 1996, the orchestra is based in Grenoble and is regularly programmed at the magnificent cultural centre, MC2. In 2005 Marc Minkowski created the workshop, Atelier des Musiciens du Louvre • Grenoble, entrusting the artistic direction to Mirella Giardelli : the multi-disciplined workshop aims to build new audiences by actively developing partnerships with local and regional cultural institutions (often leading to performances in unusual locations!). It is also active in the field of pedagogical and educational projects, and many of the projects are programmed at the MC2.
Les Musiciens du Louvre • Grenoble have recently signed an exclusive contract with the French record label, Naïve. The first recording, featuring the Arlésienne and extracts from Carmen by G. Bizet’s, will be released in 2008. The ensemble has also recorded with Deutsche Grammophon (Cecilia Bartoli’s album Opera proibita (2005), W.A. Mozart’s Symphonies No. 40 and No. 41 and Offenbach romantique, a CD with cellist Jerôme Pernoo).
In 2007 Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble celebrated their quarter century of existence. The orchestra is considered today as one of the best in the world by the prestigious British newspaper, The Guardian and faces the future with a great number of projects in diverse repertoires in Grenoble, Paris, France and abroad in the coming years in music from J.S. Bach to Wagner.