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Insula orchestra

Consultancy
Orchestra in Residence – La Seine Musicale, Paris

Video

News

Laurence Equilbey in the New York Times

Laurence Equilbey in the New York Times

“A pioneer” – thus wrote the New York Times in describing conductor Laurence Equilbey, in their feature interview – read here – ahead of her performances of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung at Lincoln Center this week Equilbey will be making her highly-anticipated Mostly Mozart Festival début with her Insula orchestra and accentus choir, and the three ...

Laurence Equilbey and Insula orchestra perform at the Barbican

Laurence Equilbey and Insula orchestra perform at the Barbican

Laurence Equilbey and Insula orchestra pay tribute to the 19th century French composer Louise Farrenc in a series of concerts in Aix-en-Provence, Paris and London Farrenc’s works, although sadly neglected today, were much acclaimed by her contemporaries Her 3rd symphony is paired in the programme with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C major, with soloists Alexandra ...

Biography

Founded in 2012 by Laurence Equilbey with local government support from the Conseil Départemental des Hauts-de-Seine, Insula orchestra performs at major French and international venues and leading festivals.

The orchestra’s varied artistic projects mainly centre on repertoire from the Classical and Romantic eras. The works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Weber are naturally at the heart of this repertoire, with programmes featuring both symphonic works and works with choir and soloists. The orchestra performs on period instruments, adapting its sound to suit large auditoriums.

Insula orchestra is composed of a permanent core group of distinguished leaders, together with young players recruited from the best European orchestras. They perform with renowned vocal soloists, such as Sandrine Piau, Werner Güra, Franco Fagioli and Ann Hallenberg and with prestigious period instrumentalists, including Nicholas Angelich, Antoine Tamestit, Victoria Mullova, Alice Sara Ott, Abdel Rahman, El Bacha, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Bertrand Chamayou, Alexandra Conunova, and Nathalie Clein. For their staged productions they collaborate with directors and production companies such as La Fura dels Baus, Séverine Chavrier and Pascale Ferran.

Insula also re-examines the formats and codes of classical music, with the aim of attracting new audiences and creating an ongoing dialogue between symphonic music, the spatial dimension of the venue and the stage. It pitches its style of performance midway between the traditional concert and the full-scale opera, thus exploring the true potential of the leading international music venues. The orchestra also associates each programme with a constellation of new digital, artistic and educational forms, featuring clips and web series that resonate with our times and expand the artistic content of the project.

Since the spring of 2017, Insula orchestra has been in residence at La Seine Musicale on the Ile Seguin at Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris.

Reviews

Farrenc’s symphony could also have hardly asked for a more committed performance than this. The tautness of the musical argument of the first movement is remarkable, and there is a palpable Beethovenian dynamism to that movement’s Allegro, brilliantly projected on this occasion.
- Heard International
 (Colin Clarke)
The recorded sound is mellow and detailed, giving an excellent sense of both the voices and the vivid playing of the Insula orchestra. Very warmly recommended.
- Gramophone
 (Hugo Shirley)
, 2017
The sound is full-bodied and warm in the new hall. The equilibrium between accentus chorus, founded by Laurence Equilbey, the three soloists and the orchestra is well-balanced. Instrumental and vocal sounds are well blended. Also the sharpness drawn by the conductor is well carried by the acoustics; nothing is forced.
- Badische Zeitung
 (Georg Rudiger)
, 2017
Everything was presented with astonishing technical precision, but also with a taste for effects and poetry. This magical theatre delights the audience in spinning images, in which the singers and their illuminated costumes look like angels and spirits. The audience was enthusiastic.
- Kronen Zeitung Gesamt
 (Von Karlheinz Roschitz)
, 2017
The true master of ceremonies is a mistress : conductor Laurence Equilbey, founder of Insula orchestra. She promised a suprise programme. It is also a bold choice: long extracts from Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, in its German Singspiel version, Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe, with a brilliant cast of French soloists.
- Le Monde
 (Marie-Aude Roux)
, 2017
Equilbey’s programming and presentation of ideas are anything but insular. The orchestra is a period-instrument ensemble, but she compensates for its limitations in repertoire by spanning the art forms, with cinema, theatre and dance elements integrated into the concerts.
- The Times
 (Richard Morrison)
, 2017
Insula Orchestra shows that it has come of age with a spring in its step. This symphonic genesis, far more than just seven days’ work, owes much to the leadership of Laurence Equilbey, whose intelligence serves music that is at once intimate and grandiose. [She conducts with suppleness, sense of colour, dramaturgical sensibility, and precision….
- Le Monde
 (Marie-Aude Roux)
, 2017
The musicians of Insula orchestra, led by conductor Laurence Equilbey, bring out all the nuances in the score with a formal lightness of touch that only serves to magnify the work. Equilbey, in a state of grace, conducts weightlessly, discernibly illustrating the influence of Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach on Haydn’s writing.
- La Provence
 (Jean-Rémi Barland)
, 2017
A passionate performance well served by the orchestra’s unique sound.
- Destimed
 (Michel Egea)
, 2017
Insula orchestra displays its infallible and agile strings, its shiny and supple woodwinds.
- La Marseillaise
 (Patrick de Maria)
, 2017
...a very high level ensemble, which shows in Der Freischütz powerful and theatrical sound effects.
- Opéra Magazine
 (Richard Martet)
, 2017
They broaden the colour and theatricality, while at the same time respecting the intimacy of the originals.
- "Record Review", BBC Radio 3
 (Andrew McGregor)
 (Review of "Schubert - Nacht & Traume" recording)
, 2017
Insula orchestra sounds warm and colourful in this intriguing, beautifully conceived recording.
- BBC Music Magazine
 (Natacha Loges)
 (Review of "Schubert - Nacht & Traume" recording)
, 2017
At the end, we feel the potential of this kind of web-series in order to seduce a new public. And, above all, the videos encourage the public to listen to the music, or even to come to a concert. (…) Insula orchestra appears as a pioneer in the world of classical music, but the ensemble has been rejoined by numerous actors of the sector.
- France Musique
 (Victor Tribot Laspière)
, 2016
Insula Orchestra and Laurence Equilbey gave a very fine concert of music by Schubert, featuring a version of the Unfinished Symphony of a quality that one would like to hear more often.(…) Insula Orchestra, with its transparent timbres, the outstanding quality of its individual musicians, myriad dynamic variations at its fingertips, literally enchanted the audience at the Metz Arsenal, accustomed to more heavyweight symphony orchestra formats. The size of the main auditorium at the Arsenal in no way impaired the legibility of the immensely subtle interpretation led by Laurence Equilbey, absolutely on top of her game. The quality of the interpretation, creating the impression that one was hearing the premiere of a piece that one yet felt one knew by heart, seems to definitively inter the controversy about the need, or otherwise, to play the nineteenth century repertory on period instruments.
- ResMusica
 (Pierre Degott)
, 2016
Over the past few years, Insula orchestra has imposed itself as one of the best ensembles playing on period instruments.
- ResMusica
 (Florence Michel)
, 2016
Laurence Equilbey’s ensemble, hailing from Paris, showcases the best in period-instrument performance: lithe playing that forces us to sit up and pay attention to long-neglected……works.
- Financial Times
 (Hannah Nepil)
, 2015
Equilbey maintained light but effective control over all three pieces, encouraging her orchestra to display its range of colour with skill and confidence.
- The Guardian
 (George Hall)
, 2015

Discography

Mozart - Coronation Mass
Released April 2017 on Erato

Sandrine Piau, Renata Pokupić, Benjamin Bruns, Andreas Wolf

Insula orchestra
accentus
Laurence Equilbey, direction

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Vêpres solennelles d’un Confesseur
Messe du Couronnement

Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice
Released September 2015 on Archiv Produktion

Franco Fagioli, Malin Hartelius, Emmanuelle de Negri, Amore

Insula orchestra
accentus
Laurence Equilbey, direction

Mozart - Requiem
Released September 2014 on Naive

Sandrine Piau, Sara Mingardo, Werner Güra, Christopher Purves

Insula orchestra
accentus
Laurence Equilbey, direction