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 (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.
Les Siècles are in residency in the Aisne department, associated artist at La Cité de la Musique de Soissons and give regularly some concerts in Paris (Philharmonie, Opéra Comique), Sénart, Nîmes, Amiens, Caen, Royaumont, La Côte-Saint-André, Aix-en-Provence and in other places as London (BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Berlin (Konzerthaus), Bremen, Bruxelles (Klara Festival), Montecarlo, Wiesbaden, Köln, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Essen.
Their records of three Stravinsky’s ballets (L’Oiseau de Feu, Petrouchka et le Sacre du Printemps) received the Jahrespreis 2015 der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik and won the Edison Klassiek award in Holland. Their Debussy disc was elected Sunday Times Disc of the year and Editor’s choice in the BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone. The France-Espagne disc with the works of Chabrier, Ravel, Massenet and Debussy received a “Choc of Classica”. In march 2017, Les Siècles started to work with Harmonia Mundi label for their last release : Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloé. The disc received many awards : Gramophone Editor’s choice june 2017, Rondo Magazin CD des Monats may 2017, Music web international recording of the month, 5 stars of Diapason, FFFF of Télérama, Le choix de France Musique, la Clé du mois de Resmusica, The Arts Desk Cd of the week, Supersonic Pizzicato, Top Mezzo, Limelight magazine’s five stars. Here is the press review.
The musicians of Les Siècles propose regularly several educational actions in schools, hospitals, retirement homes and prisons. The orchestra is partner of Jeune Symphonie de l’Aisne, Jeune Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz and Demos (musical and social educational project) in Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France. The orchestra is one of the initiator of “Music in the hospital” project proposed in the pediatric haematology-oncology Trousseau Hospital’s service in Paris. He also created an educational residency in La Petite Bibliothèque Ronde de Clamart.
Les Siècles are also the creator and the main feature of the TV show « Presto » which has been broadcast regularly on France 2 since 2007. They’ve recently created their own record Label « Les Siècles Live » in partnership with Musicales Actes Sud. They’ve already released some recordings 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 and Le Sacre du Printemps by Igor Stravinsky, the Concerto for piano of Théodore Dubois, the Dante Symphony by Franz Liszt and La Mer and the Première Suite (world premiere) by Claude Debussy, L’apprenti sorcier by Dukas, the Kammerkonzert, Bagatelles and Ten pieces for wind quartet by Ligeti and France-Espagne with works of Chabrier, Ravel, Massenet 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 Hauts-de-France. Since 2011, the orchestra is supported by the Conseil Départemental de l’Aisne to reinforce its artistic and educational presence on this territory. The orchestra is in residency in the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse of Soissons with the support of the Conseil Départemental de l’Aisne and région Hauts-de-France. The orchestra regularly performs in Hauts-de-Seine with the support of the city of Nanterre. Les Siècles is resident orchestra in Théâtre-Sénart of Lieusaint, and associated artist in Théâtre de Nîmes, in Les Musicales festival in Normandy and Berlioz Festival of La Côte-Saint-André. Les Siècles have a strong partnership with the Philharmonie of Paris and Opéra-Comique theater.
The orchestra is sponsored by the Palazzetto Bru Zane-Centre de musique romantique française, the Echanges and Bibliothèques association and occasionally by the SPEDIDAM, ADAMI, Bureau Export, Institut Français, SPPF and FCM.
Les Siècles is administrator member of the FEVIS and the Association Française des Orchestres, then associated member of SPPF.