Berlioz 2003-1

The Hector Berlioz Website

Berlioz centenary

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 Berlioz 2003-2




    Berlioz was born on 11 December 1803 in La Côte Saint-André in the Department of Isère, France. Throughout 2003, and for several years leading up to the bicentenary, events were organised to celebrate Berlioz’s bicentennial in all five continents, on a greater scale than for previous anniversaries of Berlioz in 1903 and 1969, from Réunion Island and Mauritania off the coast of Africa to Shanghai and Japan, from Alaska to Wellington, from New Mexico to Nouméa in the South Pacific, from Monaco to Vietnam. Many radio stations commemorated the bicentenary with ‘wall to wall’ broadcasts of his music, interviews with musicians and scholars, and readings from his letters and Memoirs. Some television chains showed films and documentaries about Berlioz and broadcast his operas and other works live or recorded. Major opera houses staged or gave concert performances of his three operas, and all his works, including rarely heard songs and choral works, were performed in concert halls and churches around the world. Major music festivals included Berlioz concerts and lectures in their schedules. Numerous conferences, exhibitions and colloquia on Berlioz were organised in major cities and universities, and many new books were published in 2003 to mark his bicentenary. For a list of these publications see our Berlioz Bibliography. See also our Berlioz Discography for major new releases and reissues in 2003.

    This section of our site provides information on a number of these events. For the most part this information was sent to us by organisers and participants, visitors to the site and friends from  different parts of the world. Our Archive of performances of Berlioz’s music around the world lists the numerous performances that were scheduled throughout the bicentenary year; the present section only lists a summary of those which were specifically organised as bicentenary events or as a homage to Berlioz.


    We would like to express our gratitude to all our friends and visitors to the site who provided us with the information on many of the events reported in this section:

Mr. John Allcock (Montreal, Canada), Prof. Dr. Christian Berger (Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar, Universität Freiburg), M. Pascal Beyls (Director of the bicentenary exhibition in Meylan), Mr Martin Binks (Artistic Director and Conductor of Westriding Opera), Ms Almut Boehme (Head of Music, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh), Professor Peter Bloom (Member of the Comité international Hector Berlioz), Madame Maud Bour (of the Festival d’Ile de France), Madame Catherine Brun (secrétariat du CRHIPA – Centre de recherche en histoire et histoire de l’art), Madame Sylvie Crouzet (Bibliothèque Municipale de Grenoble), M. Jean-Philippe Dartevel (musicologue), M. Jean Michel Desai, Mr. Pepijn van Doesburg, Dr Elena Dolenko, Madam Helen Elmquist (Producer, Swedish Television/Music), Ms Jutta Drews (of the Cultural Department of Bayer), Ms Virginia Earle (Nola Millar Library, New Zealand), Mr Guillermo Figueroa (Musical Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Puerto Rico Symphony), Mr Christopher Follett (journalist, Copenhagen), M. Frédéric Fleurot (the Webmaster of France Bleu Isère), Mr Neal Gittleman (Music Director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra), Mr Victor Grieve, Mr Chad Habermehl (Michigan Technological University), Miss Katell Guiziou (Marketing and Communications Department, Institut français, London), Mr Gene Halaburt, Mr Håkon Heggstad (Producer/Program Secretary, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) Alltid Klassisk), Professor D Kern Holoman (Member of the Comité international Hector Berlioz), M. Jean-Marie Houdayer (Délégué Général at Musique en Sorbonne), Mr Peter Imig (of NDR Kultur), Mr Nick Jones (Artistic Director, Smoke & Mirror Productions), Mr Nikolas Kerkenrath (Director of the Cultural  Department of Bayer), Mr Ilja Klemm (of the Hector Berlioz Convention in Essen), Mr Juergen Koehler, Mr Ralf Krämer (co-director of the film ‘Zum Himmel hoch (AT)’), Hans Kuiper (Cantoris Choir, New Zealand), Madame Catherine Lamarre (of the Bibliothèque nationale de France), Monsieur Harry Lapp and Madame Silvana Mombelli Thommen (Festival de Musique de Strasbourg), Madame Diana-Odile Lestage, Professor Hugh Macdonald (Member of the Comité international Hector Berlioz), Mr Richard Macnutt (Member of the Comité international Hector Berlioz), Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo, M. Jean Luc Moggi (of the Ensemble Vocal d’Arles), Madame Lara Pecciarini (Compagnie Interlude), Mr A Peitz (Press Officer of the Leipzig Opera), Mrs Gillian Perkins (Director of the Cambridge Music Festival), M. Pierre Sautier (Technical Advisor to the Administration of the Educational System in Mauritania), Jo-Ann Reif, Ph.D., M. Pierre-René Serna, M. Michel Soulard (Nouméa, New Caledonia), Mr Michel Reis (Técnico Superior Principal, Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E. de Macau), Madame Martine Vidal (Member of the Administrative Council of the Association Cantaréunion), Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, Mr Heinz Peter Wacker, M. Christian Wasselin (writer on Berlioz and librettist of the opera Les Orages désirés).

Copyright notice: The information on this page has been compiled by us, with the generous assistance and contributions of our friends and visitors. All rights of publication or reproduction of this information in any form, including Web page use, are reserved.

    In order to speed up downloading we have divided the section into four separate pages; the events are listed in each page broadly in the order in which they came to our notice.

Celebrations 1 65e Festival de Musique de Strasbourg 2003 – Berlioz et le siècle roamntique
“Letter to my mother” Competition in the Department of Isère, France
Berlioz in Taiwan
Hommage aan Berlioz 1803-2003 – Utrecht, Netherlands
Berlioz Day on the BBC
Berlioz – BBC’s Composer of the Week
Berlioz at the National Library of Scotland – Edinburgh
Berlioz and Wagner at the 23rd Musical Autumn of Nîmes, France
Commemorative plaque at the Paris Conservatoire
Berlioz on Swedish television
Berlioz in South Africa
Berlioz bicentenary celebrations/concerts in Copenhagen
Berlioz at the Ile de France Festival
“Berlioz, le Côtois” on Radio France Bleu Isère
Bicentenary broadcasts on Radio France – France Musiques
14th July celebrations in Grenoble – Homage to Hector Berlioz
Berlioz at Ravinia Festival – One Score, One Chicago
Prague Autumn International Music Festival
International conference on Berlioz at Grenoble – October 2003
The Cambridge Music Festival
Berlioz Bicentennial Conference: Hector Berlioz in the Age of French Romanticism – Denton
Berlioz at the Théâtre du Châtelet
Berlioz at the BBC Proms 2003
Festival Musique at the Sorbonne, Paris – Berlioz and his contemporaries
Berlioz in Singapore
Festival Berlioz in Japan
Celebrations 2 Bravo Berlioz – commemorating Berlioz’s 200th birthday in New Zealand
“Berlioz Fantastique”, a daylong celebration on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Berlioz exhibition at the Opéra Garnier – Paris
Berlioz bicentenary celebrations in Nouméa, New Caledonia (South Pacific)
Special birthday celebrations at La Côte Saint-André
Berlioz in Weimar
Festival Berlioz at the Musée d’Orsay – Paris
Hector Berlioz zum 200 Geburtstag [Berlioz on his 200th birthday] – Germany
Berlioz and Paris Conservatoire – Exhibition
Berlioz – Quatre Sommeils [Four Sleeps]
Berlioz at the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans 2003 – Poland
Berlioz exhibition at the Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo in France
A travelling Berlioz Exhibition: Berlioz the writer describes Berlioz the musician
Berlioz 2003 Bicentennial tour in France – conducted by Professor D Kern Holoman
Berlioz in China
Berlioz in La Réunion Island
Berlioz in Mauritania
Festival Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André
Berlioz bicentenary at Meylan
Berlioz Festival: the Berlioz year in his native region
Hector Berlioz’s 200th anniversary at the Leipzig Opera
Commemorative plaque at La Côte Saint-André
L’Ensemble Vocal d’Arles’ Berlioz concerts
Hector Berlioz Convention in Essen, Germany
Celebrations 3 Berlioz Bicentennial on NPR (National Public Radio) – United States
Berlioz 200th birthday celebration on Minnesota Public Radio – United States
Berlioz bicentenary broadcasts on Radio Musique 3 – Belgium
Berlioz at Aix en Provence – France
Bicentenary broadcasts by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK)
“Berlioz and his Contemporaries” at the Manoukian Cultural Centre – London
Berlioz in Vietnam
Berlioz at the 17th Macao International Music Festival, Macao
Hector Berlioz: The Musical Adventure, An exhibition in Grenoble
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra celebrates Berlioz’s bicentenary
‘Zum Himmel hoch (AT)’ – a homage to Berlioz
Berlioz in Dayton, Ohio, USA
Berlioz Festival in Aspen, Colorado
Les Orages désirés, an opera depicting the life of Berlioz
Berlioz at the Panthéon
Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003
“Interpreting Berlioz” Conference – London November (in 2002)
“Berlioz, Texts and Contexts” conference in Paris (in 2003)
Music programme of the Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003
Orchestre de Paris’ Berlioz Cycle 2002-2003 season
Berlioz exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris 
Berlioz Bicentenary Concert at Warwick Festival
Celebrations 4 Les Troyens at Nationaltheater Mannheim – Germany
Berlioz at Karlsruher Musiktage – Summer 2003
Symphonic Reading of Berlioz – Chicago
Berlioz at Freiburg University – Germany
The Michigan Tech Wind Symphony’s “Berlioz Bicentennial Birthday Bash”
Berlioz at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Hector Berlioz stamp issued in Belgium
West Riding Opera performances of Béatrice et Bénédict
John Nelson’s Berlioz concerts
Cycle Hector Berlioz au Louvre [Hector Berlioz Cycle at the Louvre Museum]
Berlioz: the Colossal Nightingale – an Australian radio series
Cultural Department of Bayer: “Berlioz and his time”, Germany
Berlioz Concerts in Puerto Rico
Berlioz Festival 2003 in New Mexico
LSO/Sir Colin Davis Berlioz Odyssey series
LSO Discovery Week: ‘THE TROJANS
LSO/Sir Colin Davis bicentenary concerts at the Barbican Centre, London
LSO/Sir Colin Davis bicentenary festival at Lincoln Center, New York
Sir Roger Norrington and Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR
English National Opera’s new production of Les Troyens
Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Les Troyens
De Nederlandse Opera’s production of Les Troyens
Benvenuto Cellini at the Metropolitan Opera
Other bicentenary performances


The Hector Berlioz Website was created by Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin on 18 July 1997;
The Bicentenary Celebrations pages created on 27 December 2000, and reorganised on 10 May 2003; substantial additions and updates made since. Last revision on 1 April 2023.

© Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin

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