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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
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 bicentennial tour in France – conducted by Professor D Kern Holoman
Berlioz in China
Berlioz in the 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

 

Bravo Berlioz – commemorating Berlioz’s 200th birthday in New Zealand

In a wide-ranging mixture of choral, solo and instrumental works by Berlioz, Cantoris Choir celebrated the bicentenary of the birth of  the composer.

Aided by accompanists Bruce Greenfield, and with soloists Marian Hawke, Helen Lear, Brendon Mercer and Roger Wilson, Cantoris transported their audience to19th century France. The concert, under the direction of Michael Vinten, took place at St Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington, on 11 December 2003. 

The works performed at the concert were as follows:

Hymne pour la consécration du nouveau tabernacle
Tantum ergo
Veni creator
Adoremus – Dmitri Bortniansky, arr. Berlioz
Sérénade agreste (written for harmonium – performed on the organ)
Invitation à louer Dieu – François Couperin, arr. Berlioz
Hymne pour l’élévation (written for harmonium – performed on the organ)
Pater noster – Dmitri Bortniansky, arr. Berlioz
Toccata (written for harmonium – performed on the organ)
Prière du matin
Amitié
Le ballet des ombres
Chant guerrier
Chanson à boire
Chant sacré
Chœur des bergers, from Les francs-juges
Trio pastoral, from Les francs-juges
Sur les Alpes – Ferdinand Huber, arr. Berlioz
Petit oiseau
Le chant des Bretons
La belle Isabeau
Le chasseur danois
L’Apothéose, from Symphonie funèbre et triomphale

Max Kenworthy played the organ solos Sérénade agreste, Hymne pour l’élévation and Toccata.

“Berlioz Fantastique” – a day-long celebration on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

On Thursday 11 December 2003 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation pre-empted all regular broadcasting on CBC Radio 2 to celebrate Berlioz and his music. The programme was hosted by Ben Hepner and was heard across Canada. 

Throughout the day Berlioz told his own story with readings from his memoirs and letters; John Bourgeois was Hector Berlioz. And along the way Sir Colin Davis, Régine Crespin, James Levine, Sir Roger Norrington, Anne Sophie von Otter, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Hugh Macdonald and David Cairns offered their thoughts and good wishes.

During the Take Five timeslot many aspects of Berlioz’s life were discussed:

10:06 Hector in Love: "I now come to the supreme drama of my life…"
11:06 Symphonie Fantastique: "Episode from the Life of an Artist…"
12:00 Words: "The marvellous book fascinated me …"
13:06 Politics and Religion: "Berlioz ought to write a Requiem Mass."

The programme was broadcast at the following times:

    CBC Radio Two from 8:00 a.m. (8:30 NT) to 10:00 p.m. (10:30 NT)
    CBC Radio One from 3:00 p.m. (3:30 NT) to 4:00 p.m. (4:30 NT) and 8:00 p.m. (8:30 NT) to 9:00 p.m. (9:30 NT) – repeat of previous hour.

Berlioz exhibition at the Opéra Garnier – Paris

The Paris Opera Garnier staged an exhibition, entitled "Hector Berlioz et l’opéra en feuilleton [Hector Berlioz – the music critic and opera]", from 14 October 2003 to 18 January 2004. It complemented the Berlioz, la voix du romantisme exhibition organised by the Bibliothèque nationale de France. 

The exhibition presented a sample of Berlioz’s critiques and articles on major opera productions and famous opera singers. Also exhibited are documents, engravings and photos of those involved in writing or performing of the reviewed operas. Except for a painting based on a photograph of Berlioz taken by  Pierre Petit, Berlioz was present in the exhibition through his writings. 

Berlioz bicentenary celebrations in Nouméa, New Caledonia (South Pacific) 

In honour of Berlioz’s 200th birthday the following concerts took place in Nouméa:

– 4 December at the Méridien at 20.00h
– 6 December at the Eglise du Vœu at 20.00h
– 7 December at the Eglise du Vœu at 18.00h

The Programme of each concert consisted of excerpts from the following works:

Les Nuits d’été

Villanelle (Sarah Bossard)
L’Absence  (Philippe Simon)
Le Spectre de la rose (Marie-Pierre Filloux)

La Damnation de Faust

Faust, Le vieil hiver a fait place au printemps, Plaines de Hongrie (Philippe Simon)
Méphistophélès, Une Puce gentille, Chanson de Méphistophélès (Brian McKay)
Faust, Sans regret j’ai quitté les riantes campagnes , Nord de l’Allemagne (Philippe Simon)
Marguerite, D’amour l’ardente flamme, Romance de Marguerite (Marie-Pierre Filloux)
Méphistophélès, Voici des roses, Bosquets et prairies des bords de l’Elbe (Brian McKay)
Faust, Nature immense impénétrable et fière, Invocation à la nature (Philippe Simon)
Marguerite, Autrefois un roi de Thulé, chanson gothique (Sarah Bossard)
Faust and MargueriteE, Ange adorable (Philippe Simon et Marie-Pierre Filloux)
Faust, Merci doux crépuscule, Air de Faust (Guy Lacairy)

Piano : Hélène Andrès; Violin : Marine Thollot

L’Enfance du Christ

Part I : Le Songe d’Hérode

Récit : Dans la crèche en ce temps (Récitant) 
Songe d’Hérode : Encore ce rêve, encore cet enfant (Hérode) 
L’Étable de Bethléem : Ô mon cher fils (Marie et Joseph)

Part II : La Fuite en Éypte

Adieu des bergers : Il s’en va loin de la terre (Chœur)
Récit : Le Repos de la Sainte Famille : Les pèlerins étant venus (Récitant et Chœur d’Anges)

Part III : L’Arrivée à Saïs

Récit : Depuis trois jours, malgré l’ardeur du vent (Récitant)
La Maison du charpentier : Entrez, entrez pauvres Hébreux…(Le Père de famille)
La Maison du charpentier : Vous pleurez, jeune mère (Le Père de famille, Marie et Joseph, le chœur des Ismaélites)
Récit : Ce fut ainsi que par un infidèle… (Récitant)
Épilogue : Ô mon âme, pour toi, que reste-t-il à faire ? (Récitant et Chœur) 

Performers:

Sainte Marie: Marie-Pierre Filloux
Hérode, Saint Joseph: Brian McKay
Le Père de famille: Fabien Perez
Le Récitant: Michel
Soulard Chœur d’anges: Les Pierres Vivantes
Chœurs: Amadeus
Students of the Académie de chant
Piano : Hélène Andrès

An exhibition on Berlioz was also held at the Centre d’Art de Nouméa from 3 to 13 December 2003.

Special birthday celebrations at La Côte Saint-André

The following special events marked Berlioz’s 200th birthday at his home town:

Thursday 11 December 2003

Meet with the actor Yves Gaudin

09.00h : Under the Halle
11.00h : Bibliothèque municipale [Municipal Library]
17.00h : Musée Hector-Berlioz
18.00h : Hôtel de ville, salle Jongkind

From 10.00h to 21.00h

Nocturne at the Musée Hector-Berlioz, free admission 

Continuous showing in the Music Salon of a film directed by Pierre Dupouey, produced for the Arte Television,
entitled “Moi, Hector Berlioz” [I, Hector Berlioz]

At 18.30h and 21.00h

Concerts in the Church Saint-André, entilted " Ma vie est un roman " [My life is a novel], works by Liszt, Chopin ...
with François-René Duchâble at the piano and  Alain Carré, actor

Saturday 13 December 2003

Concert “Cher Hector”
Offered by the Ecole de musique of La Côte-Saint-André and members of the Société Philharmonique, produced by Philippe Barraud
Château Louis XI, salle des fêtes, at 20.30h, admission free

From 8 to 20 December 2003

Exhibition "Fantastique Hector" by Luc Quinton,
Hôtel de ville, salle Jongkind, from 15.00 h to 18.00h
(everyday except Sundays), admission free.

We are grateful to Madame Chantal Spillemaecker, Conservator of the Musée Hector-Berlioz, who kindly sent a copy of the programme to us.

Berlioz in Weimar

To mark Berlioz’s 200th birthday a five-day programme of talks and music was organised in Weimar between 11 and 15 December 2003, inclusive. Here are the details:

11 December

18.30hr – Congress Centrum  Neue Weimarhalle

Opening lecture: 

"Song, Dance and the Fantastic : Celebrating Berlioz’s 200th Birthday", Julian Rushton (University of Leeds)

19 h 30 – Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle 

Opening concert:

L’Invitation à la valse (Weber)
Les Nuits d’été
Symphonie fantastique

Sinfonieorchester der Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar
Françoise Pollet (soprano)
conductor: Nicolás Pasquet

12-14 December

12 and 13 December: 10.00hr -13.00hr et 15.00hr - 17.00hr; 14 December: 10.00hr - 13.00hr

Festsaal Fürstenhaus: Performing course: Françoise Pollet (soprano)

12 December

19.30hr – Festsaal Fürstenhaus: Recital of melodies

Fleurs des landes
Feuillets d’album
Neuf Mélodies

Students and teachers of singing, guitar and keyboard classes of the Hochschule Franz Liszt Weimar
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Detlef Altenburg

13 December

17.00hr – Konzertsaal of the Musikgymnasiums Belvedere

L’Enfance du Christ

Kammerchor der Hochschule Franz Liszt Weimar (Prof. Jürgen Puschbeck)
SAP-Kammerphilharmonie and soloists
conductor: Prof. R. Geilert

14 December

18.15hr – Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle 

Round Table: Prof. Dr. Detlef Altenburg (Modération), Christian Jost, Prof. Dr. Albrecht von Massow et Prof. Michael Obst

19.30hr – Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle

Christian Jost, Cocoon-Symphonie (world première)
Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d’Hamlet
Harold en Italie

Staatskapelle Weimar
Opernchor des Deutschen Nationaltheaters Weimar
Julian Rachlin (viola)
conductor: Jac van Steen

15 December

18.45hr – Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle

Pre-concert talk: "Berlioz, die Literatur und das imaginäre", Prof. Dr. Detlef Altenburg

19.30hr – Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle

Christian Jost, Cocoon-Symphonie (world première)
Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d’Hamlet
Harold en Italie

Staatskapelle Weimar
Opernchor des Deutschen Nationaltheaters Weimar
Julian Rachlin (viola)
conductor: Jac van Steen

Festival Berlioz at the Musée d’Orsay – Paris

The Musée d’Orsay held two lunch-time concerts of Berlioz’s "rarities" on 11 and 12 December and two concert-spectacle evenings on 13 and 14 December 2003, with the Solistes de Lyon-Bernard Tétu.  

Lunch-time concerts:

11 December 2003
Berlioz rarities: 1 (in early versions)

Le Fleuve du Tage
Nocturne for two voices
Recueil de romances
Chœur de lointain
Chant des Chérubins
Fugue pour trois sujets
Sérénade agreste for Alexandre melodium
Hymne pour la consécration du nouveau tabernacle
Hymne pour l’élévation for Alexandre melodium
Veni Creator
Toccata for Alexandre melodium
Tantum Ergo
Temple universel
Le montagnard exilé
Canon libre à la quinte
Pleure pauvre Colette
Le Chant des Bretons
Zaïde
Berceuse de Reicha
Le Ballet des ombres

12 December 2003 Berlioz rarities: 2 (in early versions)

Prière du matin
Le jeune pâtre breton
Chanson à boire
Les champs
Hélène
Belle Isabeau
Chant guerrier
La captive
Rêverie et caprice
Premiers transports
Plaisir d’amour
Amitié reprends ton empire
L’invitation à louer Dieu
Pater Noster
Chant sacré
La mort d’Ophélie
Miranda
Méditation religieuse

Concert-spectacle: Berlioz, Shakespeare, une ombre qui passe ... [Berlioz, Shakespeare, a walking shadow ...]

13-14 December 2003

The event consisted of a mixture of texts by Shakespeare, declaimed and/or acted by an actor and members of the chorus, and Berlioz’s music with two  pieces by Liszt, all with piano accompaniment.

Liszt: Totentanz (Danse des morts)

Berlioz:

Chœur d’ombres (Lélio)
La Reine Mab (Roméo et Juliette)
Sara la baigneuse
Le Trébuchet
Premiers transports (Roméo et Juliette)
Sur les Lagunes
Le Vin de Syracuse (Béatrice et Bénédict)

Liszt: Mephisto valse

Berlioz:

La Mort d’Ophélie
Chanson des brigands (Lélio)
Course à l’abîme (La Damnation de Faust)
Septet (Les Troyens)
Le Ballet des ombres

Texts were selected from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Hector Berlioz zum 200 Geburtstag [Hector Berlioz on his 200th birthday] – Germany

There were a number of concerts by the NDR Sinfonieorchester and broadcasts on NDR Kultur from 28 November to 29 December 2003 to celebrate Berlioz’s the 200th birthday on 11 December 2003. Here are the details:

Friday 28 November 2003

10.00-12.30    Public dress rehearsal for schools in the Musikhalle (Booking required tel.: 040 / 4156 2401)

19.00              Introduction in Room E of the Musikhalle (Artists’ entrance, Dammtorwall 46)

20.00              Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg, Musikhalle

Conductor: Massimo Zanetti
Soloist: Vesselina Kasarova

Programme:

Sergei Prokofiev  Symphony No 1 in D major "Classical Symphony"
Hector Berlioz  Les Nuits dété
Sergei Prokofiev  The Love of the Three Oranges – Suite
Maurice Ravel  Rhapsodie espagnole

Saturday 29 November 2003

20.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Kiel, Schloß

Conductor: Massimo Zanetti
Soloist: Vesselina Kasarova

Programme:

Sergei Prokofiev  Symphony No 1 in D major "Classical Symphony"
Hector Berlioz  Les Nuits dété
Sergei Prokofiev  The Love of the Three Oranges – Suite
Maurice Ravel  Rhapsodie espagnole

20:05 - 24:00     Prisma (NDR Kultur)
                          "The Faust element in Music" with extended excerpts and commentry on Berlioz’s Légende dramatique "La Damnation de Faust"

Sunday 30 November 2003

20.00                 Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Bremen, Glocke

Conductor: Massimo Zanetti
Soloist: Vesselina Kasarova

Programme:

Sergei Prokofiev Symphony No 1 in D major "Classical Symphony"
Hector Berlioz Les Nuits d’été
Sergei Prokofiev The Love of the Three Oranges – Suite
Maurice Ravel Rhapsodie espagnole

4 December 2003 to 18 December 2003

8:30 - 9:00     Morning readings (NDR Kultur)

                      Symphonie fantastique/1-11
                      Christoph Bantzer, readings from Berlioz’s Memoirs

Sunday 7 December 2003

11.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg, Musikhalle

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Lang Lang, piano

Programme:

Ludwig van Beethoven  Piano concerto No. 4 in G major
Hector Berlioz  Symphonie fantastique

Monday 8 December 2003

20.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg, Musikhalle – live broadcast on NDR Kultur

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Lang Lang, piano

Programme:

Ludwig van Beethoven  Piano concerto No. 4 in G major
Hector Berlioz  Symphonie fantastique

Tuesday 9 December 2003

19.00             Conductors’ portrait (Room E of the Musikhalle, Artists’ entrance, Dammtorwall 46)

20.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg, Musikhalle

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Lang Lang, piano

Programme:

Ludwig van Beethoven  Piano concerto No. 4 in G major
Hector Berlioz  Symphonie fantastique

Thursday 11 December 2003

20.05-22.00    The World of Music (NDR Kultur)
                        "Phoenix from the ashes, or the scores of Berlioz which he is supposed to have burnt"
                        A broadcast talk by Michael Stegemann; produced by Sabine Lange    

Saturday 13 December 2003

20.05-24.00    Prisma (NDR Kultur)
                        "Hector Berlioz on his 200th birthday", produced by Hans Heinrich Raab 

Monday 15 December 2003

20.05              Broadcast of part of the concert of 28.11.2003 at the Hamburg’s Musikhalle on NDR Kultur
                       (NDR Sinfonieorchester, Massimo Zanetti, Vesselina Kasarova)

Tuesday 16 December 2003

20.00              NDR Sinfonieorchester / Chamber concert
                       Chamber music in Paris in the time of Berlioz, Hamburg, Rolf-Liebermann-Studio, Oberstraße 120
                       Members of the NDR Sinfonieorchester play works by Louise Farrenc, Hector Berlioz and Georges Onslow

Friday 19 December 2003

08.30-09.00   Morning readings (NDR Kultur)
                      The classical romantic – Hector Berlioz as writer and critic; Essay by Hanjo Kesting; produced by Hanjo Kesting

13.05-14.00  Waltraud Meier, guest of "Klassik à la carte" (NDR Kultur)

19.00             Introduction with Prof. Wolfgang Dömling in Room E of the Musikhalle (Artists’ entrance, Dammtorwall 46)

20.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg, Musikhalle

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Waltraud Meier, mezzo-soprano

Programme:

Hector Berlioz:
Overture Roi Lear, Cléopâtre (Scène lyrique)
Roméo et Juliette (excerpts: Roméo seul, Grande Fête chez Capulet, Scène d’amour, Reine Mab)
La Damnation de Faust (excerpts: D´amour l’ardente flamme, Marche hongroise)

Saturday 20 December 2003

19.30             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Lübeck, Musik- und Kongresshalle

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Waltraud Meier, mezzo-soprano

Programme:

Hector Berlioz:
Overture Roi Lear, Cléopâtre (Scène lyrique)
Roméo et Juliette (excerpts: Roméo seul, Grande Fête chez Capulet, Scène d’amour, Reine Mab)
La Damnation de Faust (excerpts: D´amour l’ardente flamme, Marche hongroise)

Sunday 21 December 2003

from 14.00     Meeting of the Klassik-Club in Bremen

20.00             Concert given by the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Bremen, Glocke

Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
Soloist: Waltraud Meier, Mezzo-soprano

Programme:

Hector Berlioz
Overture Roi Lear, Cléopâtre (Scène lyrique)
Roméo et Juliette (excerpts: Roméo seul, Grande Fête chez Capulet, Scène d’amour, Reine Mab)
La Damnation de Faust (excerpts: D´amour l’ardente flamme, Marche hongroise)

Monday 29 December 2003

20.05             Broadcast of part of the concert of 28.11.2003 from Hamburg’s Musikhalle on NDR Kultur
                      (NDR Sinfonieorchester, Massimo Zanetti, Vesselina Kasarova)

The above programme is our English translation of the original German text that Mr Peter Imig of NDR Kultur kindly sent to us.  

Berlioz and Paris Conservatoire – Exhibition 

This exhibition aimed to place the documents of the médiathèque of the Paris Conservatoire (médiathèque Hector Berlioz) within three major themes which shows Berlioz’s relations with the Conservatoire : Berlioz student of the Conservatoire (1821-1830), Berlioz librarian (from 1839) and Berlioz composer  performed by the Société des Concerts (1849).

With participation of the students of the department of musicology, the exhibition  presented œuvre and scores contemporaneous with Berlioz’s time at the Conservatoire and also unpublished documents from the archives of the Conservatoire.

Time: From 15 October to 14 December 2003

Venue: Conservatoire de Paris, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris

Berlioz – Quatre Sommeils [Four Sleeps]

This ‘journey of sound’ of about 12 minutes duration, was conceived by Yann Rocher a student of acoustics and Emmanuel Rio, an engineer and researcher. It is a free interpretation of an episode in the life of Berlioz, recounted in his Mémoires, and evokes four deep ‘sleeps’.

Dates: every weekday from 21 November to 14 December 2003

Time: 5.00pm to 7pm

Venue: Conservatoire de Paris, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris

Berlioz at the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans 2003 – Poland

The 38th edition of the Wratislavia Cantans festival was held from 5 to 14 September. It encompassed 41 concerts held in Wrocław [Breslau], Brzeg Opolski and 14 other cities of Lower Silesia. The Festival also commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hector Berlioz. On 13 September the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra and Silesian Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Mariusz Smolij, performed the Messe Solennelle at St. Mary Magdalene Cathedral, Wrocław. 

Berlioz exhibition at the Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo in France

In celebration of Berlioz’s bicentenary the Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo held an exhibition from June to November 2003.

The Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo is located at Bièvres (in the department of Essonne, France) in the Château des Roches, the former property of Bertin the elder (Louis-François Bertin), the director of the Journal des Débats, of which Berlioz was music critic. Hugo like Berlioz was connected with the Bertin family and was a frequent visitor to this Château.

A Travelling Berlioz Exhibition 

In July 2000 a ‘travelling’ Berlioz Exhibition, “Berlioz Musicien raconté par Berlioz écrivain” [Berlioz the musician described by Berlioz the writer], was first displayed at the Bibliothèque nationale de Paris to mark France’s presidency of the European Union at the time. As a travelling exhibition, it is designed to be displayed all over the world in places of education and culture, universities, concert halls, music schools and the like. The exhibition was part of the celebrations of Berlioz’s bicentenary in 2003 organised by the Comité International Hector Berlioz. Catherine Massip, Director of the Music department at the Bibliothèque nationale, and Cécile Reynaud, the Secretary General of the Comité international, were responsible for the text, and the exhibition was directed by Pascale Thumerelle.

This attractive, stimulating and informative exhibition, which consists of 19 posters (65 x 92 cm), is designed to be mounted (e.g. along walls, in corridors, on wooden flats) in educational and cultural settings and anywhere where music and French culture are appreciated.

Here is the list of the posters and their identifying numbers:

  • 0 Une affiche titre
  • 1 Les apprentissages
  • 2 Une vocation contrariée
  • 3 Le Conservatoire
  • 4/4a Symphonie fantastique (1830)
  • 5 L’éternel féminin
  • 6 La Villa Médicis
  • 7 Pèlerinage italien
  • 8 De la Messe solennelle au Te Deum
  • 9/9a L’opéra
  • 10 Le souffle de Shakespeare
  • 11 L’écrivain
  • 12/12a L’inventeur de l’orchestre moderne
  • 13 L’Européen
  • 14 La Damnation de Faust
  • 15 Les mélodies
  • 16 Les Troyens
  • 17 Postérité
  • 18 Le grand romantique français

The posters were at the time available for purchase directly from: Association pour la diffusion de la pensée française, Ministère des Affaires étrangères.
Contact: Service Diffusion, 6, rue Ferrus, 75683 Paris cedex 14, France.

We are very grateful to Mr Richard Macnutt, a member of the Comité international Hector Berlioz, for his advice and practical help which enabled us to make this announcement. 

Berlioz 2003 Bicentennial tour in France, conducted by Professor D Kern Holoman

Professor Holoman conducted the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, of University of California, Davis in a tour which took place between 20-27 June 2003: 

20 June Harold en Italie
Chant du 9 Thermidor 
Le Cinq Mai (Chant sur la mort de l’Empereur Napoléon)
Marche funébre pour la dernière scène d’Hamlet (Trisita)
Convoi funèbre de Juliette (Roméo et Juliette)
Paris
21 June  Marche au supplice (Symphonie fantastique)
Marche des pèlerins
(Harold in Italie)
Le Chasseur danois
, Sur les lagunes, Marche marocaine
Marche hongroise
(La Damnation de Faust)
Paris
22 June   Harold en Italie 
Tristia
: Marche funébre pour la dernière scène d’Hamlet 
Tristia
: La Mort d’Ophélie, La Belle Voyageuse
L’Adieu des bergers
(from L’Enfance du Christ) 
Offertoire
(from Grande Messe de Morts)
O Salutaris
(from Messe solennelle)>
Mantes-la-Jolie
25 June   Harold en Italie, Marche au supplice (Symphonie fantastique)
Le Chasseur danois, Sur les lagunes, Marche marocaine
Marche hongroise (La Damnation de Faust)
Oyannax (near Lyon and Berlioz country)
27 June  Marche au supplice (Symphonie fantastique), La Belle Voyageuse
La Captive, Sur les lagunes, Le Chasseur danois 
Marche hongroise (La Damnation de Faust), Zaïde, Marche troyenne
Paris

Berlioz in China

Berlioz’s 200th birthday was marked on three occasions in the course of year 2003.

January

On January 22 and 23, the China Philharmonic Orchestra performed Berlioz’s dramatic legend "La Damnation de Faust," which was the China premiere of this work. Featuring renowned French tenor Jean-Pierre Furlan, Chinese baritone Liao Changyong and mezzo-soprano Cao Zheng, the Damnation was sung in French.

May

In a collaborative project to mark Berlioz’s bicentenary, the Musée Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André and the Conservation du Patrimoine de l’Isère staged a "Hector Berlioz Exhibition" at the Shanghai Opera in May 2003.

In addition, on 15 and 16 May, as part of the Shanghai Music Festival, the Festival Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André, in collaboration with the Comité Régional du Tourisme, the Région Rhône-Alpes and the Département of the Isère, organised two concerts: on 16 and 17 May the Solistes de Lyon-Bernard Tétu performed works by Berlioz, Fauré, Gounod, Offenbach, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky.

December

On  3 and 4 December, under the baton of François Boulanger, the Orchestra d’Harmonie de la Garde Republicaine de France together with the Solistes de Lyon-Bernard Tétu presented two concerts at the Grand Theatre, Shanghai, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Berlioz. The programme comprised of some of Berlioz’s best-known works including Overture Le Carnaval romain and Symphonie fantastique.

Berlioz in the Réunion Island

To mark Berlioz’s bicentenary, the Association CantaRéunion, based in the Reunion Island*, a French overseas département, concluded its lyric festival with a concert devoted to Berlioz’s music, in which excerpts of  La Damnation de Faust were performed on 26 and 29 March at Saint-Denis and 27 March at Tampon: The performers were:

Orchestre du conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris
Les chœurs de Cantaréunion
conductor: Pierre Michel Durand
Jean Luc Viala (tenor, Faust)
Marc Mazuir (baritone, Méphistophélès)
Valéria Florencio (soprano, Marguerite)

* The Réunion Island is located between Madagascar and Mauritius.

Berlioz in Mauritania

The French Cultural Centre in Nouakchott, Mauritania marked Berlioz’s bicentenary with a musical talk on 19 March by M. Pierre Sautier, the Conseiller Technique pour l’Administration du système éducatif en Mauritanie (the Technical Advisor to the Administration of the Educational System in Mauritania). The title of the talk was "Hector Berlioz : A romantic in the century". M. Sautier’s talk placed Berlioz’s life within the context of his musical and cultural environment and of the city of Paris between 1825 and 1870. The talk also included a reading of extracts from Berlioz’s Memoirs. In addition, portraits of Berlioz and various people associated with, such as his wives, his son, his parental family and many of his friends, were displayed. 

Festival Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André – 2003

The annual Festival Berlioz took place between 20 August and 7 September. The programme included the following concerts: 

20 August   Educational concert around and based on
Roméo et Juliette
21 August Evening – Berlioz: L’Emoi à la folie – Musical and literary journey around Berlioz’s expression of sentiments in his texts and melodies
22 August   Afternoon – chamber music by Rossini, Gluck, Bach, Weber
Evening – Berlioz: Overture Le Roi Lear, Schumann, Liszt
23 August   Afternoon – chamber music by Liszt, Weber, Rossini, Kalliwoda
Evening – Berlioz: Te Deum, Bruch: Piano Concerto No. 1
24 August Afternoon – music by Poulenc, Prokofiev
Evening – Berlioz: Chasse royale et orage (from Les Troyens);
Brahms: Double Concerto; Schumann: Symphony No. 4
25 August Afternoon – chamber music by Mendelssohn, Cherubini, Beethoven
Evening – Berlioz: La Mort d’Orphée; music by Gluck, Schumann, Weber, Wagner
26 August Afternoon – Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (Liszt’s piano transcription), works by Liszt and Schubert
Evening –  Berlioz: Hungarian March (from La damnation de Faust); Beethoven: Symphony No. 7;
Dvorák: Cello concerto (with the magnificent Mstislav Rostropovitch as the soloist)
27 August Afternoon – chamber music by Hyden, Brahms and Beethoven
Evening – Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts (Requiem)
28 August Afternoon – Berlioz in Italy:
Overture Carnaval Romain

Marche des Plèrins (from Harold en Italie)
Roméo et Juliette (orchestral suite) 
29 August Evening – programme centred around Berlioz’s Grand Traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration moderne
(works by Berlioz, Gluck, Beethoven,Weber)
30 August Afternoon – works by Beethoven, Paganini, Wieniawski
Evening – Berlioz : Les Nuits d’été; Mehul: Overture La Chasse du jeune Henri; 
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4
31 August Afternoon: music by Beethoven, Schubert, Paganini
Evening – Berlioz: Overture to Béatrice et Bénédict, Weber: Clarinet concerto; Schumann: Symphony No.1
1 September Afternoon – Berlioz: Le Trébuchet, Hélène, Le Coucher du soliel, Je crois en vous 
works by Rossini, Liszt
Evening – works for piano by Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Schubert, Liszt, Saint-Saëns, Horowitz
3 September Afternoon – works by Beethoven, Weber, Chopin, Boely, Mendelssohn
Evening – Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Schumann: Piano concerto
4 September Afternoon "Vous avez dit romantisme?" [Did you say Romanticism?], based on Berlioz’s writings
Evening – Berlioz: Harold en Italie; works by Beethoven and Liszt
5 September Afternoon – piano music by Chopin, Schumann
Evening – Berlioz: Les Francs-juges, Herminie; Beethoven: Symphony No 3
7 September Evening – Berlioz: Symphonie funèbre et triomphale;
Andy Emler (composer in residence ) "Le souffle du temps", after Hector Berlioz

Berlioz in Meylan

Meylan, where the young Berlioz used to spend summer holidays with his family at his maternal grandparents’, and where he met his first love Estelle at the age of 12, celebrated his bicentenary year in style.

The programme of celebrations included:

21 March: talk on Berlioz and Estelle Dubœuf, by Pascal Beyls – Maison de la Musique, at 8.00pm

29 March: piano recital, La Symphonie fantastique (piano transcription) by Hugues de Nolly – Maison de la Musique, at 8.00pm

6 May: concert by the Orchestre régional du Dauphiné – Hexagone, at 8.00pm

19 September: talk and water-colour paintings exhibition, by Mme Clavaud - Bibliothèque du Haut-Meylan

20 September:  a "Festival Berlioz" concert, Émoi à la folie – Hexagone, at 8.00pm

20 - 23 September: exhibition – Maison de la Musique

21 September guided tour, concert and presentation of a commemorative sculpture – Maison de la Musique

The tour included a visit to the Haut Meylan, where the homes of Estelle Dubœuf and Nicolas Marmion (Berlioz’s grandfather) are still standing.

17 October: talk by S. Coste – Maison de la Musique, at 8.00pm

8 November: piano duo – Maison de la Musique

11 December: concert by Les Solistes de l’ORD – Maison de la Musique, at 8.00pm

12 and 13 December: concerts by the pupils of the CEMVM – Maison de la Musique

See also our page on the Berlioz Monument which was inaugurated on 11 December 2003 in Meylan as part of the Berlioz bicentenary celebrations.

Berlioz Festival: the Berlioz year in his native region – Department of Isère

In order to give the Berlioz year a high profile, both in the department and in France and abroad, a Berlioz Committee was established. At its head was M. André Vallini, President of the ‘Conseil général’ of the department of Isère, together with seven other senior officials.

The events were spread over 19 days of festival: concerts, with ten symphony orchestras, and the greatest conductors and performers of our time (Baudo, Casadesus, Krivine, Nelson, Plasson…); great works (the Requiem, Symphonie Fantastique, Te Deum, Roméo et Juliette, Les Nuits d’Été, L’Enfance du Christ); exhibitions, conferences, and theatre performances, as outlined below:

February

Official launch of the Berlioz year with the release of a CD-ROM, on sale in all departmental museums and distributed free of charge to all departmental schools and colleges in the Rhône-Alpes region.

April and May

Manufacture of a silk "square Berlioz" printed by the Perrin company of Grand-Lemps.

16, 17 May

The Festival Berlioz organised two concerts in Shanghai, with the Solistes de Lyon-Bernard Tétu.

June

Reopening of the Musée Berlioz, which is located in the house in which the composer was born.

18 July

A cast of 150 performed in the courtyard of  the Château Louis XI, La Côte Saint-André, with 9 frescoes depicting Berlioz’s life.

22 August - 5 September

Events of the Festival Berlioz took place in many of the cities of the department: Vienne, La Frette, Le Mottier, Saint Chef, Châtenay, Marnans, Bourgoin-Jallieu.

Hector Berlioz’s 200th anniversary at the Leipzig Opera

The Leipzig Opera House and Ballet celebrate the 200th anniversary of Berlioz’s birth with three productions: Les Troyens and two ballets by choreographer Uwe Scholz "Rot und Schwarz" (Red and Black) and "Symphonie fantastique", both based on compositions by Berlioz.

For the first time in a hundred years the Leipzig Opera House staged Berlioz’ epic opera Les Troyens, premiered on 29 November 2003. The former director of the Thalia Theatre Hamburg, Guy Joosten, staged the opera. Marc Albrecht, who gave his debut at the Bayreuther Festspiele in summer, conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra. Andrew George was in charge of the choreography. 

The main parts were sung by international guests as well as soloists of the Leipzig Opera Ensemble. The Icelander Jon Ketilsson was heard as Énée, a part with which he was successful already at the Salzburger Festspiele in 2000. Michaela Schuster gave her Leipzig debut as Cassandre. The young baritone of the Leipzig ensemble, Tommi Hakala, took on the role of Chorébe. Cornelia Helfricht was Didon.

Uwe Scholz’ choreography "Rot and Schwarz", based on the novel "Le Rouge et le Noir", tells the story of social climber Julien Sorel, danced by Joan Boix, during the aftermath of the French revolution. For his ballet Scholz made use of a number of compositions by Hector Berlioz. Toni Businger was in charge of the stage setting. "Rot und Schwarz", premiered on 8 October 2003, was performed by the Leipzig Ballet.

For the 300th anniversary of the Leipzig Opera House in 1993 Uwe Scholz originally choreographed Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. This symphonic ballet not only focused on the music but also paid tribute to the subtitle which Berlioz gave to his composition, Episodes in the life of an artist, and explored the theme of loneliness of the artist. The Leipziger Ballet presented the work again on the 16 November 2003. As in its earlier performances, this work was  combined with Uwe Scholz’s dance version of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony; the whole programme was entitled "Ballet-Symphonien" (Ballet-Symphonies).

Les Troyens – Premiere on 29 November, further performances on 4, 7, 21 and 26 December 2003 and 18 January 2004

Rot und Schwarz – Performances on 8, 18 and 21st of October and on the 1 November 2003

Ballett-Symphonien – Performances on 16 and 30 November and 5 December 2003

Commemorative plaque at La Côte Saint-André

On 18 July 2003 a commemorative plaque was placed on Berlioz’s statue at La Côte Saint-André in the presence of the French Culture Minister M. Jean-Jacques Aillagon. In the evening, there was an official dinner at Les Halles with 900-1000 guests, similar to the event held on 28 September 1890 when Berlioz’s statue was installed, with 300-400 guests. The evening was concluded with a Sound and Light show in the courtyard of the Château, which consists of 10 tableaux depicting Berlioz’s life (see also below). Two documentary films of this event has been made. 

L’Ensemble Vocal d’Arles’ Berlioz concerts

The Ensemble Vocal d’Arles (EVA), conducted by Bernard Viti, offered 3 concerts each of which consisted of Overture Carnaval romain and Messe solennelle. A fourth concert, held in October, included only Messe solennelle (accompanied by two pianos).

The chorus was accompanied by l’Orchestre du Roy René, formed by the musicians from the Opéra d’Avignon and the Opéra de Marseille. Two other choruses also joined the EVA in these concerts: Le Chœur Domitla, of Goult in Vaucluse département, conducted by Bernard Viti and L’Ensemble Amadeus, of Fos-sur-Mer, in the Bouches du Rhône, conducted by Mireille Abrahm-Bonhomme. The three choruses, which have been in existence in the last 10 to 20 years, represented 160-170 choristers.

Soloists:

Karine Magnetto (soprano)
Gérard Tussau (tenor)
Thierry de Laroche (baritone-bass)

The performers were directed by Bernard Viti, chorus master and conductor since 1980.

Venues and dates:

Saturday 28 June 2003, 9.45pm, at the Théâtre Antique, Arles (open air concert)
Friday 4 July 2003, 9.00pm, at the Basilique du Sacré Cœur du Prado, Marseille
Saturday 5 July 2003, 9.00pm, at the Eglise St Symphorien> des Carmes, Avignon
Friday 24 October 2003, 9.00pm, at the Théâtre Municipal, Fos sur Mer 

Hector Berlioz Convention in Essen – Germany

The Folkwang - Hochschule held a Berlioz Convention, entitled "Berlioz in Germany", from 16 to 18 June 2003, to mark the bicentenary of the composer’s birth. There were concerts and reading sessions in conjunction with the convention. 

The speakers and the main themes of the convention were as follows:

A. Hector Berlioz and some other composers:

Detlef Altenburg, Weimar: Liszt and Berlioz
Andreas Jacob, Essen: The ‘Schönberg - School’ and Berlioz
Julia Liebscher, Bochum: Richard Strauss and Berlioz
Udo Sirker, Essen: Mendelssohn and Berlioz
Theo Hirsbrunner, Bern: Schumann and Berlioz
Hugh Macdonald, St. Louis: Brahms and Berlioz
Elisabeth Schmierer, Essen: Gustav Mahler and Berlioz
Herbert Schneider, Saarbrücken: Peter Cornelius and Berlioz
Christian Berger, Freiburg: Hugo Wolf and Berlioz

B. The image of Berlioz in the German musical journalism

Wolfgang Dömling, Hamburg: Ganz Deutschland schenkt es ihm’ – Berlioz, Schumann und die sogenannte Programmusik
Gunter Braam, München: Berlioz in the German ‘Feuilleton’
Arnold Jacobshagen, Thurnau: Berlioz in the German music literature
Marc-Mathieu Münch, Paris: Berlioz and Heine

C. Performances of Hector Berlioz’s music

Joseph-Marc Bailbé, Paris: Les Troyens en Allemagne
Sieghart Döhring, Thurnau: Julius Kapps Trojans – adaptation from 1930
Hervé Lacombe, Baden-Baden vu de Paris, ou Berlioz et ses compatriotes à Bade
Rainer Schmusch, Das französische Repertoire in Baden-Baden zur Zeit von Berlioz
Nicole K. Strohmann: Je rêve une edition allemande soignée…’ – Überlegungen zu Weingartners Berlioz-Gesamtausgabe

D. Hector Berlioz’s picture of Germany

David Cairns, London: Germany in the Memoirs and correspondence of Berlioz
Yves Gérard, Paris: Germany in the ‘Feuilleton’ of Berlioz
Dominique Catteau, Lille/Douai: Berlioz et les philosophes allemands
Michael Heinemann, Dresden: Berlioz’s picture of Bach
Katherine Kolb, Hammond (Louisiana): Wagner as the target of A travers chants
Christian Ahrens, Bochum: Germany in the Traité d’instrumentation
Frank Heidlberger: Hector Berlioz und die deutsche Oper

A selection of the papers presented at the conference appeared in a book entitled, Hector Berlioz: Ein Franzose in Deutschland, edited by Matthias Brzoska, Hermann Hofer, and Nicole Strohmann (Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2005). See also on this site: Hector Berlioz: Ein Franzose in Deutschland, a review by John Ahouse.

Note: At the conference Hugh Macdonald spoke on Brahms and Berlioz, but another paper by him, “Berlioz Takes the Train”, is included in the book. The  paper on Berlioz and Brahms had already been published in Sieghart Döhring et al (eds.) Berlioz, Wagner und die Deutschen (Verlag Dohr, 2003). We are most grateful to John Ahouse for this clarification and also for pointing out last minute changes in the actual conference proramme, which have been incorporated in the above details.

Celebrations 1 Celebrations 3 Celebrations 4

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.

© Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin

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