Formed in the summer of 2003 by François-Xavier Roth, Les Siècles comprises outstanding young players pooled from the very finest French ensembles. 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.
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, playing each repertoire on appropriate instruments. Its flexible and historically informed work delivers a unique strand of creative programming.
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 200 performances in France alone, including regular performances in Paris (Philharmonie, 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.
Their 2011 recording of Stravinsky’s Firebird has received great critical acclaim in the international press: Edison Klassiek Prize 2012 in Netherlands, Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Disc of the week in the Sunday Times, Gramophone Choice, Record of the year 2011 in the Times, Editor’s choice in the BBC music Magazin, 5 stars in Classica le Monde de la Musique, Best existing recording of The Firebird in “ Le Jardin des Critiques” on France Musique.
Their latest album “France-Espagne” has already received an award: the CHOC de Classica June 2015.
Les Siècles are the creator and the main feature of the TV show « Presto » which has been regularly broadcast on France 2 since 2007. They have also created their own record Label « Les Siècles Live » in partnership with Musicales Actes Sud. Ten recordings have already been released in this collection: La Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz, the Symphonie n°3 avec orgue by Saint-Saëns, Trames 2, 4 & 8 by Martin Matalon, The Firebird by Stravinsky, the Concerto for piano by Théodore Dubois, the Dante Symphony by Franz Liszt, La Mer and the Première Suite (world premiere) by Debussy, L’Apprenti Sorcier, Velléda and Polyceute by Paul Dukas, The Rite of Spring (as it might have been heard on May 29, 1913) and Petrouchka by Stravinsky and more recently “France-Espagne” with spanish inspired French music by Chabrier, Massenet, Ravel and Debussy.
Mécénat Musical Société Générale is the main sponsor of Les Siècles.
The orchestra is also financed by the French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication and DRAC Picardie. Since 2011, the orchestra is supported by the Conseil Général de l’Aisne to reinforce its artistic and educational presence on this territory. The orchestra is in residency in the Forum du Blanc-Mesnil with the support of the Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis and regularly performs in Hauts-de-Seine with the support of the Conseil Général 92 and the city of Nanterre.
The orchestra is sponsored by the Art Mentor Foundation, the Palazzetto Bru Zane, the Fondation Echanges and Bibliothèques, Katy & Matthieu Debost and occasionally by the SPEDIDAM, ADAMI and FCM. The orchestra has been invited to become Resident Orchestra in Grand Théâtre de Provence, Festival Berlioz de La Côte Saint-André, Festival de Saint-Riquier and Festival de l’Epau.