An innovative and passionate musician, Pascal Rophé is one of France’s most sought after conductors. He is currently Music Director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, a position he has held since the 2014-15 season.
Although known as one of the foremost exponents of the 20th century repertoire and invited regularly by all the major European ensembles dedicated to contemporary music, Pascal Rophé has also built up an enviable reputation for his interpretations of the great symphonic repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries. This balance is in perfect coherence with the shock he received on discovering the three scores that acted as the catalyst to his conducting career: the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, Le Marteau sans maître by Pierre Boulez and the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven.
From 1992, after studying at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris and winning second prize at the 1988 Besançon International Competition, he collaborated closely with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble intercontemporain, where he also worked extensively with David Robertson.
In France and abroad, Pascal Rophé works with many major orchestras including the orchestras of Radio France, Iceland Symphony, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RTE National Symphony, Ensemble intercontemporain, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, RAI Torino, Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg/Baden-Baden and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. Pascal also served for three years as Music Director of the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra until June 2009.
Pascal Rophé is committed to the operatic repertoire which he considers, like contemporary music, should be as accessible to audiences as the more mainstream repertoire. He devotes himself, on average, to two operatic productions per season (Pélléas et Mélisande with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Thaïs for Opera di Roma, both Der fliegende Holländer and Dialogue des Carmélites at the Budapest Spring Festival). Among the contemporary operas he has championed are Michael Jarrell’s Galilée for Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, Ahmed Essyad’s Héloïse et Abélard for the Châtelet, Michèle Reverdy’s Medée for Opéra de Lyon, and most recently, Bruno Mantovani’s L’Autre Côté for the Cité de la Musique. In April 2011 he premiered Akhmatova, the latest opera by Bruno Mantovani at the Opera national de Paris to great acclaim. In spring 2013 he conducted Anna Caterina Antonacci and the Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra in La Voix Humaine by Poulenc and the Secret de Suzanne by WolfFerrari in Paris and Luxemburg.
For his extensive discography of recordings made with the orchestraFs of Radio France, BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino etc Pascal Rophé has received numerous awards and been unanimously praised by the music press.