The British conductor Daniel Harding has been appointed as the new Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, he will take on the new role from the 2016/17 season. Harding will succeed Paavo Järvi in Paris and will also continue in his position as Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The Orchestre de Paris moved into their new concert hall, the Philharmonie de Paris, with great fanfare earlier this year and the arrival of Harding is yet another exciting development for the orchestra which was founded by conductor Charles Munch in 1967. Järvi has led the orchestra since 2010 and the prestigious roster of previous Music Directors includes Sir Georg Solti (1972-75), Daniel Barenboim (1975-89) and Christoph Eschenbach (2000-10).
‘The orchestra is in a great shape, but with an exciting desire to be challenged and to continue growing’
Harding said of the appointment: 'The orchestra is in a great shape, but with an exciting desire to be challenged and to continue growing. The newly opened Philharmonie is an exquisite concert hall and a very clear symbol of the desire to connect the orchestra with the diverse communities in the city. It gives Paris a world-class venue to attract the greatest performers and orchestras from all over, and a wonderful tool for connecting music with other art forms and areas of creative enquiry. The Orchestre de Paris is going to be at the centre of a project that is about excellence, challenge and sharing.'
When it comes to recording, Harding has built an outstanding body of work. Recent and notable recordings include Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust, which was Gramophone's Recording of the Month in December 2014, Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos 3 and 4 with pianist Maria João Pires (an Editor's Choice in October 2014) and Bartók's Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2 with violinist Isabelle Faust (which was nominated for a Gramophone Award last year).
Harding won a Gramophone Award in 2003 for his recording of Britten's The Turn of the Screw, of which our reviewer Alan Blyth wrote, 'Daniel Harding is a worthy successor of and rival to the composer and to Steuart Bedford in extracting the greatest tension from both the finely wrought writing for the chamber ensemble and from his well-balanced and exemplary cast.'