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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 2002
“Berlioz, text and Context” Conference in Paris
Music programme of the Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003
Orchestre de Paris’ Berlioz Cycle 2002-2003 season
Berlioz exhibition in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
Berlioz Bicentenary Concert at Warwick Festival


Berlioz Bicentennial on NPR (National Public Radio) – United States

    To mark the 200th anniversary of the French composer’s birth, on 11 December the NPR’s Performance Today programme broadcast an hour of music which included Berlioz’s Overture to Benvenuto Cellini, the Rakoczy March from La Damnation de Faust and the Rex Tremendae from the Grande Messe des morts. The programme is no longer available.

    In the course of the programme, which included also the full text of Berlioz’s “Euphonia, or the Musical City”, the presenter talked about our site, in which you will find our own English translation of Euphonia and its original French text. The NPR kindly put a link to this text and a few other pages of our site.

    An interview with Sir Colin Davis conducted by the NPR, as part of a programme entitled “The Legacy of Composer Hector Berlioz”, was broadcast on Berlioz’s birthday. The interview is still available (March 2023).

Berlioz 200th birthday celebration on Minnesota Public Radio – United States 

    On 11 December 2003 the Minnesota Public Radio broadcast a special four-hour program dedicated to the works and life of Berlioz, hosted by Michael Barone. The following recorded works were played:

Overture Le Corsaire – Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch
Overture Waverley – Dresden Staatskapelle/Sir Colin Davis
Huit Scènes de Faust (excerpt) – Susan Graham, soprano; Montreal Symphony and Chorus/Charles Dutoit
Herminie (excerpt) – Michèle Lagrange, soprano; Lille Regional Orchestra/Jean-Claude Casadesus
La Tempête (from Lélio, ou Le Retour à la vie) – Jean-Louis Barrault, narrator; London Symphony and Chorus/Pierre Boulez
Nocturne à deux voix – Françoise Pollet, soprano; Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Göran Söllscher, guitar
Chant Sacré; L’Adieu des bergers (from L’Enfance du Christ) – Lyon Orchestra Chorus/Bernard Tétu
Le Chasseur Danois (2 versions) – Thomas Allen, baritone; Cord Garben, piano; Francoix Le Roux, baritone; Montreal Symphony/Charles Dutoit
Marche Funèbre (from Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale) – The Wallace Collection/John Wallace
Judex Crederis (from Te Deum) – Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir; London Symphony & Chorus/Colin Davis
Villanelle (from Les Nuits d’été) – Melanie Diener, soprano; Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez
Veni Creator Spiritus – Lyon Orchestra Chorus/Bernard Tétu
D’amour l’ardente flamme (from La Damnation de Faust); Ah! Ah! Je vais mourir (from Les Troyens) – Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano; Vienna Radio Symphony/Bertrand de Billy
Roméo et Juliette (Part I, entire) – Melanie Diener, soprano; Kenneth Tarver, tenor; Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus/Pierre Boulez
Roméo et Juliette (Part II, selections) – London Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis
Roméo et Juliette (Part III, excerpts) – Tom Krause, bass; Montreal Symphony & Chorus/Charles Dutoit

Berlioz bicentenary broadcasts on Radio Musique 3 – Belgium

“Ten Portraits for a Bicentenary”

    A series of 10 episodes of two hours duration was broadcast on Musique 3 from 1 to 10 December 2003. Each episode was broadcast twice from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 22.00 to 24.00. And each episode focused on a specific facet of Berlioz’s personality.

1 December  Berlioz and politics or “Portrait of a great man who will not go to the Panthéon”

1 December  Berlioz and religion or “Portrait of an atheist who will probably go to heaven”

3 December  Berlioz and the classics or “Portrait of Hector”

4 December  Berlioz, Hugo and Delacroix, or “Portrait of one of the heroes of the Romantic Trinity”

5 December  Berlioz and his Panthéon or “Portrait of a champion of Gluck, Weber and Beethoven”

6 December  Berlioz and England or “Portrait of a composer in exile”

7 December  Berlioz and his instrument or “Portrait of a man-orchestra”

8 December  Berlioz and humour or “Portrait of the composer as a humorist”

9 December  Berlioz and his public or “Portrait of the misunderstood composer”

10 December  On the footsteps of Berlioz: a little itinerary for bicentenary pilgrims

    On 11 December, with Philippe Dewolf as guide, Musique 3 commemorated Berlioz’s 200th birthday with an adaptation of the BBC Radio 3 Berlioz Day, broadcast on 7 December.

Berlioz at Aix en Provence – France

    On the occasion of the bicentenary of Berlioz’s birth, Compagnie Interlude, a theatrical company in Aix en Provence, created a spectacle entitled “Hector Berlioz, l’écrivain face au compositeur” [Hector Berlioz, the writer faces the composer]. It is a literary concert based on Berlioz’s Memoirs with an actor who represents the composer and a soprano who sings (with piano accompaniment) excerpts from works by Berlioz (Les Nuits d’été and Cléopâtre, among others) and other composers notably Gluck, Weber, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Rossini. The spectacle, which retraces major stages of Berlioz’s life, was first performed on 6, 13 and 20 December 2003 at the Campra Hall of the Aix en Provence Conservatoire. It was repeated at the amphitheatre of the Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix en Provence on 20 and 21 February 2004.

Bicentenary broadcasts by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK)

    To mark Berlioz’s bicentenary the classical radio station of the NBC (NRK Alltid Klassisk) broadcast a total of 18 concerts in December 2003 – both recorded and live – including music by Berlioz. Below you will find the complete programme of NRK Alltid Klassisk’s celebrations.

Wednesday 3 December, 14.00hr

– Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3
– Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Nicolai Znaider (violin)
Fransk radios Filharmoniske orkester
conductor: Myun-Whun Chung

Concert given at the Théatre de Champs-Élysées, Paris ,14 June 2003

Wednesday 3 December 19.30hr

– Hector Berlioz: Le Corsaire, overture
– Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
– Hector Berlioz: Te Deum, op. 22

Fabrice Dalis (tenor)
Tsjekkisk filharmonisk kor, Brno
Frankfurt Radiosymfoniorkester
conductor: Hugh Wolff

Concert given at the Basilica, Eberbach Kloster, Germany, 28 June 2003

Friday 5 December, 20.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: Cléopâtre
– Peter Tchaikovsky: Symphony No, 6 “Pathétique”

Violeta Urmana (mezzo-soprano)
Fransk nasjonalorkester
conductor: Riccardo Muti

Concert given at the Théatre de Champs-Élysées, Paris, 26 April 2003

Monday 8 December, 20.00

– Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto N. 4 in G major
– Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Lang Lang (piano)
Nordtysk radiosymfoniorkester
conductor: Christoph Eschenbach

Direct from Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany

Wednesday 10 December, 14.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: Overture Le Carnaval romain
– Hector Berlioz: Rêverie et Caprice
– Hector Berlioz: Cléopâtre
– Maurice Ravel: Shéhérazade
– Maurice Ravel: Boléro

Johannes Søe Hansen (violin)
Jennifer Larmore (mezzo-soprano)
Danmarks Radiosymfoniorkester
conductor: Marc Soustrot

Concert given at the Danish Radio Concert Hall 21 January 2003

Wednesday 10 December, 19.30hr

– Hector Berlioz: Les Troyens

Ben Heppner, tenor, Aeneas, Petra Lang, (Cassandra), William Dazeley (Corebus)
Tigran Martirossian (Panthus), Clive Bayley (Priam), Victoria Simmonds (Ascanius)
Jonathan Lemalu (Ghost of Hector), Anna Burford (Hecuba), Mark Stone (Greek Captain)
Leigh Melrose (a young Trojan soldier/Mercury), Bülent Bezdüz (Helenus)
Michelle DeYoung (Dido), Sara Mingardo (Anna), Robert Lloyd (Narbal)
Kenneth Tarver, tenor, Iopas, Toby Spence (Hylas)
Darren Jeffrey (first Trojan sentry), Roderick Earle, (second Trojan sentry)
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
conductor: Colin Davis

Concert performance given at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 25 August 2003

Thursday 11 December, 13.03hr – Berlioz at 200!

Berlioz 200 years!

Special lunch in honour of the “Birthday Boy”, Hector Berlioz, born on this day, 11 December 1803.

Friday 12 December, 14.00hr

– Franz Liszt: Etudes d’exécution transcendante
– Hector Berlioz (arr. Liszt): Symphonie fantastique

Miguel Ituarte (piano)

Concert given at the Juan March Foundation Concert Hall, Madrid 3 December 2003

Friday 12 December, 20.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: Overture Rob Roy
– Hector Berlioz: Cléopâtre
– Hector Berlioz: Harold en Italie

Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
Frankfurt Radiosymfoniorkester
conductor: Hugh Wolff

Direct from the Alte Oper in Frankfurt

Sunday 14 December, 17.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts)

Steve Davislim (tenor)
Oslo Oslo-Filharmonien
Oslo Filharmoniske Kor
Tokyo Oratorio Society Choir
conductor: Michel Plasson

Concert given at the Oslo Konserthus 10 April 2003

Monday 15 December, 20.00hr

– Colin Matthews: Vivo (London-première)
– Hector Berlioz: Les Nuits d’été
– Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat major

Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano)
Hallé Orchestra
conductor: Mark Elder

Concert given at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 26 July 2003

Wednesday 17 December, 14.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: La belle voyageuse
– Franz Liszt: L’idée fixe – Andante amoroso (from Symphonie fantastique)
– Hector Berlioz: La captive
– Hector Berlioz: La Mort d’Ophélie
– Hector Berlioz: Le jeune pâtre breton
– Hector Berlioz: Zaïde, boléro
– Hector Berlioz: Les nuits d’été

Susan Platts (mezzo-soprano)
Robert Kortgaard (piano)
Bryan Epperson (cello)
Trevor Tureski (castanets)
Joan Watson (horn)

Members of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra
conductor: Richard Bradshaw

Concert given at the Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada, 11 February 2003

Wednesday 17 December, 19.30hr

– Hector Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust

Katarina Karnéus (Marguerite), Jonas Kaufmann (Faust)
José van Dam (Méphistophélès), Frédéric Caton (Brander)

The Grand Théâtre Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
conductor: Patrick Davint

Concert given at the Grand Théâtre, Geneva, 5 July 2003

Friday 19 December, 14.00hr

– Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser, ouverture
– Hector Berlioz: Cléopâtre
– Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Olga Borodina (mezzo-soprano)
Wien Filharmoniske orkester
conductor: Valery Gergiev

Concert given at the Großer Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, 16 May 2003

Sunday 21 December, 17.00hr

– Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2, in G minor
– Hector Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

Alexander Toradze (piano)
Oslo Oslo-Filharmonien
conductor: Gianandrea Noseda

Concert given at the Oslo Konserthus, 24 April 2003

Wednesday 24 December, 19.30hr

– Hector Berlioz: L’Enfance du Christ

Randi Stene (Mary), Anders Larsson (Joseph), Mathias Zachariassen (Narrator)
John Erik Eleby (Herod), Ove Pettersson (Father of the family)
Anders Jerker Dahlin (Polydorus), Mathias Brorson (Centurion)

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
conductor: Charles Dutoit

Concert given at the Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, 7 March 2003

Thursday 25 December, 06.00hr

– Hector Berlioz: L’Enfance du Christ

Louise Winter (Mary), Mark Padmore (Centurion/Narrator)
David Wilson-Johnson (Joseph/Polydorus), Peter Rose (Herode/Father of the family)
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
conductor: Andrew Davis

Concert given at Westminster Cathedral, London 12 December 2003

Tuesday 27 December, 19.30hr

– Hector Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini

Isabel Bayrakdarian (Teresa), Kristine Jepson (Ascanio)
Marcello Giordani (Benvenuto Cellini), Peter Coleman-Wright (Fieramosca)
John del Carlo (Giacomo Balducci), Robert Lloyd (Pope Clement VII)
Bernard Fitch (Cabaretier), Galen Scott Bower (Pompeo)
Eduardo Valdes (Francesco), Patrick Carfizzi (Bernardino)

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
conductor: James Levine

Direct from the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Sunday 28 December, 17.00hr

– Wilhelm Stenhammar: Serenade for Orchestra in F major
– Hector Berlioz: Harold en Italie

Lars Anders Tomter (viola)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
conductor: Manfred Honeck

Concert given at the Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, 24 January 2003

“Berlioz and his Contemporaries” at the Manoukian Cultural Centre – London

    Under the patronage of the French Ambassador, the Manoukian Foundation and the Institut français du Royaume-Uni presented a charity concert to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hector Berlioz.

    The proceeds of the concert will be donated to a charity under the aegis of the Fondation de France.


Carl Maria von Weber: Andante et Rondo Hungarese
Robert Schumann: Märchenbilder op 113 (1851)
Franz Liszt: Romance oubliée
Hector Berlioz: Harold en Italie (Liszt version)
Felix Mendelssohn: Sonata for Viola and Piano

Venue: Manoukian Cultural Centre, St. Yeghiche Armenian Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, London SW7

Date: Thursday 11 December, 7.30pm

Artists: Gérard Caussé (viola); Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden (piano)

Berlioz in Vietnam

    The Vietnam National Opera and Ballet celebrated the 200th anniversary of Berlioz’s birth with a concert on 16 and 17 November 2003. The programme included Symphonie fantastique, Les Nuits d’été and La Fuite en Egypte (from L’Enfance du Christ); the conductor was Hiroshi Kubota.

Berlioz at the 17th Macao International Music Festival, Macao

    The 17th Macao International Music Festival, organised by the Cultural Institute of the Macao SAR Government, held two concerts in commemoration of the bicentenary of the great composer Hector Berlioz. These concerts were performed by the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra on 28 and 29 October 2003 at the Macao Cultural Centre. The programme was as follows:

28 October Berlioz: Overture Le Carnaval Romain
Sheng: Flute Moon for Flute and Orchestra
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major
29 October Wagner: Tannhäuser Overture
Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Hector Berlioz: The Musical Adventure – An exhibition in Grenoble

    The Dauphinois Collection of the Bibliothèque de Grenoble has over a thousand documents related to Berlioz, consisting of manuscript or printed scores, autograph letters, unpublished works, photos, portraits and critical studies.

    This exhibition was the third of its kind devoted to Berlioz. The first took place in 1953 when, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the Bibliothèque municipale de Grenoble organised an exhibition charting Berlioz’s life. That exhibition was in collaboration with the Grenoble Museum, the Stendhal Museum, the Hector Berlioz Museum, the Louvre Museum, and private collections; it exhibited only contemporary documents.

    The second exhibition, Berlioz through his Mémoires and correspondence, was held in 1979 on the occasion of the first Berlioz Festival in the region.

    The present exhibition, celebrating the bicentenary of Berlioz’s birth, was organised around three major themes: “The European adventure”, “The imaginative and romantic adventure” and “The adventure of the sounds”.

    The majority of the items exhibited were from the Dauphinois Collection and included: autograph letters and manuscripts, lithographs, drawings, sketches, photographs, engravings, unpublished scores, reviews, cartoons, scores annotated in Berlioz’s hand, libretti of operas and symphonic works, cards, concert programme posters, posters, commemorative medals, cartes postales, statues, and the ‘Livre de raison’ of Berlioz’s father.

    The exhibition was held from 13 September to 15 November 2003 at the Grenoble Old Museum situated at Place de Verdun, 38000 Grenoble.

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra celebrates Berlioz’s bicentenary

    Ilan Volkov and the BBC SSO presented a unique event to celebrate “this astonishing genius” with three of his symphonies on Saturday 20 September 2003. The day began with a talk and discussion on Berlioz in the cultural ferment of 1830s France, with Stephen Johnson, leading broadcaster and writer on music. Then followed a performance of Harold en Italie, featuring Lawrence Power (viola). In the evening Ilan Volkov and the orchestra were joined by three soloists and the Scottish Festival Singers for Roméo et Juliette. To end the day, there was a free late-night performance of the Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale, scored for a large wind orchestra, with RSAMD forces under their Principal John Wallace.

    Harold en Italie and Roméo et Juliette were recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 17 November 2003.

‘Zum Himmel hoch (AT)’ – a homage to Berlioz

    Ralf Krämer and Mary Sanne paid homage to Berlioz through a short film, entitled “Berlioz in Berlin – Neue Episode nach dem Leben eines Komponisten”.

    A brief description of the film:

What does a composer, who was rather undervalued in his lifetime, do when 150 years later he comes back to a place where he was active? He asks for his royalties. Angry at the fact that strangers nowadays make more money from his music than he ever managed to earn, he demands his rights. A surprising act of love brings him back to earth and reminds him that the true value of his music is not to be reckoned purely in money. When it appears that he must again pay money for this experience of music and love, he faces a new and even keener disappointment. But at the end the spectator can at least be certain that Berlioz’s music lives on among people and their hearts.

Berlioz in Dayton, Ohio, USA

    The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in Dayton, Ohio organised a Berlioz-fest from September through December 2003. The programme was as follows:

18, 19, 20 September 2003 Harold en Italie
17, 18 October 2003 Overture to Benvenuto Cellini
21, 22 November 2003 La Damnation de Faust
4, 6 December 2003 Roméo et Juliette (orchestral excerpts)

    The concert on 19 September was a lecture-demonstration concert with discussion and demonstration of the music in addition to a complete performance. All performances were held at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts.

Berlioz Festival in Aspen, Colorado

    The Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, presented a week-long Berlioz festival, from 11 to 18 August 2003.

    A two-day seminar, “Much Ado About Berlioz,” was offered on 12-13 August and repeated on 14-15 August; this treated the relationship between Berlioz and Shakespeare, and between Béatrice et Bénédict and Much Ado About Nothing. The seminar leaders were Carol Adelman, of the Hudson Institute, Kenneth Adelman, of George Washington University, and Peter Bloom, of Smith College.

    Béatrice et Bénédict was performed by the Aspen Opera Theater, under the direction of Michael Stern, on Monday, 11 August , Thursday, 14 August, and Saturday, 16 August. The director of the production was Edward Berkeley.

    The Requiem was performed by the Aspen Festival Orchestra, under the direction of David Zinman, on Sunday, 17 August.

“Interpreting Berlioz” Conference London November 2002

    This conference was one of an international series of events, coordinated by the Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003, that marked the bicentenary of Berlioz’s birth. Organised by Dr Paul Banks, Professor David Charlton, and Dr Katharine Ellis, it was held at the Royal College of Music and the Victoria and Albert Museum over 3 days from 15 to 17 November.


15 November – Jean Muir Seminar Room,V&A

10.00-10.25 Registration
10.25-10.35 Welcome – Paul Banks, David Charlton, Katharine Ellis
10.35-11.10 Keynote Paper (chair: David Charlton)
Berlioz: nation, nationality, nationalism – Julian Rushton (University of Leeds)
11.10-11.40 Coffee
11.40-13.00 Berlioz and his English Connections (chair: Leanne Langley)
11.40-12.00 Oh, to be a blowing man’: Berlioz the linguist – Hugh Macdonald (Washington University, St Louis)
and Richard Macnutt (New Berlioz Edition)
12.00-12.30 More than dedication: John Ella and Hector Berlioz – Christina Bashford (Oxford Brookes University)
12.30-13.00 Critical perceptions of Berlioz in London by Edward Holmes and James W. Davison,1847-1855
– Ora F. Saloman (Baruch College/CUNY)
13.00-14.30 Lunch & Lunchtime Concert
14.30-16.00 London Musical Life I (chair: Christina Bashford)
14.30-15.00 Heureusement si j’ai des ennemis à Londres j’y ai aussi beaucoup d’amis’: Berlioz and the London musical scene
– George Biddlecombe (Royal Academy of Music)
15.00-15.30 Benvenuto Cellini in London – Sarah Hibberd (RILM/Royal Holloway)
15.30-16.00 Staging new works at the Royal Italian Opera – Gabriella Dideriksen (University of Southampton)
16.00-16.20 Tea
16.20-17.30 London Musical Life II (chair: Christina Bashford)
16.30-17.00 Berlioz and Il franco arciero in London – Ian Rumbold (Royal College of Music)
17.00-17.30 Berlioz in England 1870-1920 – Leanne Langley (Goldsmiths’ College)
19.00-21.30 Symphony Concert – Concert Hall, Royal College of Music
Symphonie fantastique, op. 14
Lélio ou Le retour à la vie, op. 14bis

RCM Symphony Orchestra
RCM Chorus (Chorus master: Bob Chilcott)
Mark Andre conductor

16 November – Jean Muir Seminar Room, V&A

10.15-11.15 Russia I (chair: Rosamund Bartlett)
10.15-10.45 Berlioz as a representative of contemporary French culture in Russia – Stuart Campbell (University of Glasgow)
10.45-11.15 Berlioz in the mirror of the Russian press (1833-1869) – Elena Dolenko (Moscow University)
11.15-11.45 Coffee
11.45-12.45 Russia II (chair: Rosamund Bartlett)
11.45-12.15 The Russia that Berlioz visited – Linda Edmondson (University of Birmingham)
12.15-12.45 Berlioz as perceived in Russia, 1880-1910 – Svetlana Laschenko (State Institute for Art Studies, Moscow)
12.45-14.15 Lunch
14.15-15.15 International Reputation (chair: Hugh Macdonald)
14.15-14.45 The Breslau concert tour of 1846: local insights into Berlioz’s music and aesthetic – Mark Pottinger (CUNY)
14.45-15.15 Berlioz and the Universal Exhibitions – Kerry Murphy (University of Melbourne)
15.15-15.45 Tea
15.45-17.15 Shakespeare and Byron (chair: Janet Johnson)
15.45-16.15 Freeing Shakespeare: Harriet Smithson, Berlioz and the Ophelia factor – Peter Raby (University of Cambridge)
16.15-16.45 Berlioz’s Othello – Katherine Kolb (Southeastern Louisiana University)
16.45-15.15 Berlioz’s Harold – between a classic and a liberal interpretation of Byron’s Childe Harold
– Oliver Vogel (Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin)
19.00 Conference Dinner: The Parrot Club Room, The Basil Street Hotel

17 November – Royal College of Music

  Parallel sessions – Berlioz: the performer’s view (chair: Paul Banks)
10.00-10.45 Berlioz on Record – David Cairns and Robert Phillip (Open University)
10.45-11.30 Round Table: The Grand Traité d’Instrumentation – Hugh Macdonald (Washington University St Louis), Peter Bloom (Smith College)
  Parallel sessions – Analysing Style and Narrative I (chair: Diana Bickley)
10.00-10.30 The pastoral and the diabolical in early Berlioz – Michael Fend (King’s College, London)
10.30-11.00 Les neuf mélodies (1830) ou le Thomas Moore d’Hector Berlioz: contribution à l’avènement d’une expressivité nouvelle
– Alban Ramaut (Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne)
11.00-11.30 Shakespeare and the genesis of programme music – Rainer Schmusch (Musikwissenschaftliches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes)
11.30-12.00 Coffee
  Parallel sessions – Berlioz: the performer’s view (chair: Paul Banks)
12.00-13.00 Round Table: The Grand Traité d’Instrumentation (continued)
  Parallel sessions – Analysing Style and Narrative II (chair: Michael Fend)
12.00-12.30 Discursive techniques in Berlioz’s Lélio ou Le retour à la vie – Vera Micznik (University of British Columbia)
12.30-13.00 Liszt’s reworking of Berlioz in the light of a newly discovered manuscript – Cécile Reynaud (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
13.00-14.15 Lunch
14.15-16.00 Masterclass on Berlioz songs
RCM students with Roger Vignoles
16.00-16.30 Tea
16.30-18.00 Lecture Recital
Liszt’s transcriptions of the Symphonie fantastique – Ken Hamilton (University of Birmingham)

concertOrchestre de Paris – Cycle Berlioz 2002/2003

23 October 2002 Te Deum
16 January 2003 L’Enfance du Christ
30 January 2003 La Captive
Roméo seul  (from Roméo et Juliette)
Marche hongroise (from La Damnation de Faust)
L’Invitation à la valse
27, 28 February 2003 Roméo et Juliette
2, 4 April 2003 Benvenuto Cellini
16, 17 April 2003 Le Cinq mai
11 June 2003 Le Ballet des ombres
Sarah la baigneuse
Sur les lagunes (choral arrangement by C. Gottwald)

Les Orages désirés, an opera depicting the life of Berlioz, by Gérard Condé and Christian Wasselin

    Here are the details of this fascinating project, the full libretto of which is reproduced on this site.

Les Orages désirés (The desired storms)

Romantic opera in four acts
Commissioned by Radio France
Music : Gérard Condé
Libretto : Christian Wasselin
First performance : 22 November 2003 (5.00 pm)
Playing time : about 70-80 minutes
Venue: Maison de Radio France (116, avenue du président-Kennedy, Paris 16e)

The project :

    Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) would have been two hundred years old in 2003. This was an opportunity to imagine and perform an opera with the young Berlioz as the central character.

The story :

    Hector Berlioz, a young teenager (12 or 13 years) haunted by his passions, does not know how to say to Estelle that he is in love with her. He is going to realise that this love cannot be expressed in words and that he must leave Estelle and become a musician to exalt his feelings for her. For him, it is not a choice between art and love, but a choice between an art which metamorphoses and saves love, and melancholy.

    The four acts take place in 1815 (at the end of the First Empire) and do not follow literally historical reality. Each of them takes place in a different season of the year, and each is a reflection of the inner landscape of young Hector.

The characters :

– Hector Berlioz (soprano)
– his mother (contralto)
– his father, Dr Louis Berlioz (baritone or bass)
– his sister Nanci (a child’s voice)
– Estelle (soprano)
– Colonel Marmion, Hector’s uncle (tenor)
– Il signor Corsino, the music teacher (bass or baritone)
– Chorus (sung by all the characters)

The music :

    It is of course new and original. It contains a few allusions to the music of Berlioz himself and to the music he knew when he was 12 or 13 years old, particularly the music of the XVIIIth century.

The first performance was given by :

– Françoise Masset (Berlioz)
– Jean Teitgen (Berlioz’s father)
– a child (Nanci)
– Elsa Maurus (Berlioz’s mother)
– Sevan Manoukian (Estelle)
– Yves Coudray (Colonel Marmion)
– Philippe Rabier (Corsino)

Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France (with 15 musicians), conducted by Kirill Karabits.

The opera was directed by Sugeeta Fribourg.

Berlioz at the Panthéon

    Half a century ago Professor Barzun wrote: “If a real desire exists to celebrate Berlioz’s memory otherwise than by playing his music, there is in Paris a roomy public building on the pediment of which is written Aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante [To great men, the grateful fatherland]. Exhume Berlioz and place him in the Panthéon with his peers” (Berlioz and the Romantic Century, vol. 2, 1950, pp. 325-326).

    As part of the official celebrations of the bicentenary of his birth, Berlioz’s remains were scheduled to be moved from the Montmartre cemetery to the Panthéon on 21 June 2003. The Orchestre de Paris were to play the Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale in the streets of Paris for this occasion. But the Élysée Palace let it be known (on 8 February) that the move would not take place in 2003.

    In the event, the only official ceremony to celebrate Berlioz’s bicentenary was a grand concert organised by the Paris city hall on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville on 21 June, France’s national day of music [Fête de la musique]. The Musique des Gardiens de la Paix de la Préfecture de Police, the Orchestre d’Harmonie du Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, the Orchestre symphonique du Conservatoire supérieur de Paris and 2000 school children performed Berlioz’s music at this concert. You may read a review of this event (in French) by M. Pierre Panetin in the review section of our site.

The Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003 celebrations

    The Comité, composed of musicologists, researchers, and representatives of some of the major French cultural institutions, was formed in the autumn of 1997 by M. Georges-François Hirsch, the Director-General of the Orchestre de Paris, to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Hector Berlioz. The Orchestre de Paris and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are organising a vast Berlioz Cycle that will honour not only Berlioz the composer but also Berlioz, the writer, critic, and theorist. This cycle began in the 2000-2001 season, and will conclude during the 2002-2003 seasons, with events scheduled to coincide with the actual two-hundredth anniversary, which will occur on 11 December 2003.

    The Orchestre de Paris inaugurated its Berlioz Cycle in February 2000 with a series of works touching upon the theme of Faust in music. During the programmes the focus will be on the themes of “Byron and the fascination with Italy” in 2001, “Berlioz and Shakespeare” in 2002, and “Berlioz and Romanticism” in 2003.

    In addition to music programmes there will also be exhibitions, scholarly meetings and colloquia, and festivals held in France, Germany, Britain and the United States. The first of these colloquia, entitled “Berlioz: Past, Present, Future”, was organised by Peter Bloom and held at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts on 31 March - 2 April 2000. A selection of papers presented at this conference was published in a book edited by Peter Bloom (see our Berlioz Bibliography page for details). The second conference was held at Bayreuth in August 2001. The third conference in the series was held at London on 15-17 November 2002, organised by Paul Banks, David Charlton and Katharine Ellis (of Royal Holloway, University of London and the Royal College of Music, London). A similar conference was held at Paris in November 2003.

“Berlioz, Texts and Contexts” Conference

    Under the ægis of the Comité International Hector Berlioz, and on the occasion of the bicentennial celebrations for the composer’s birth, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in collaboration with the Université de Paris-Sorbonne organised an international conference entitled “Berlioz, Texts and Contexts”. The conference took place on 13, 14 and 15 November 2003 at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, François-Mitterand site, Paris. Here are the details:

13 November 2003

9. 30 Opening speeches by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, president of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and
Pierre-Jean Angrémy, president of the Comité international Hector-Berlioz

10 - 12 Le contexte esthétique, chaired by Pierre Citron (Emeritus Professor, Université de Paris III)
– Rémy Stricker, Berlioz et Anton Reicha
– Paul Banks, Berlioz et l’esthétique de la symphonie du XIXe siècle
– Dominique Hausfater, Berlioz et la musique dite religieuse
– Hervé Lacombe, Béatrice et Bénédict : un cadre classique pour l’imaginaire berliozien

14 - 16 Le contexte historique, chaired by D. Kern Holoman
– Joël-Marie Fauquet, L’imagination scientifique de Berlioz
– David Charlton, Les ancêtres immédiats de Berlioz
– Damien Colas, Berlioz et Halévy
– Maria Eckardt, Berlioz et Liszt à Weimar, ou Berlioz à Budapest

16.15 - 18 Le texte musical, chaired by Peter Bloom
– Julian Rushton, Réflexions sur le langage musical de Berlioz
– Hugh Macdonald, Réflexions sur une édition complète de Berlioz
– Gérard Condé, Les « réemplois » dans le processus de composition berliozienne

20.00 Orchestre de Paris concert at the Théâtre du Châtelet; the participants of the conference are guests of the Orchestre de Paris.

14 November 2003

9.30 Opening speech by Béatrice Didier, Berlioz et la création littéraire

10 - 12 Le texte dans la musique, chaired by Yves Gérard
– Cécile Reynaud, Berlioz tourmenté par les cantates du prix de Rome
– Mathias Brzoska, Berlioz et Meyerbeer metteurs en scène
– Jean-Claude Yon, Berlioz et Offenbach dramaturges

14.30 - 17.30 Le texte littéraire, présidé par Jean Mongrédien
– Anne Bongrain et Marie-Hélène Coudroy-Saghaï, Une critique musicale de Berlioz
– Katherine Kolb, Berlioz et « das ewig Weibliche »
– Éric Bordas, Le récit chez Berlioz
– Violaine Anger, La question de la prosodie dans les différentes versions de La Captive
– Alban Ramaut, Le modèle poétique et ses analogies musicales

18.00 Visit to the Berlioz Exhibition at the BNF

19.30 Concert (mélodies) at the auditorium of the BNF, Tolbiac

15 November 2003

9.30 - 11.00 Berlioz et la création au XXe siècle, chaired by Catherine Massip
– Jean-Pierre Bartoli, Berlioz, Mahler et Adorno
– Denis Herlin, Berlioz vu par Debussy
– Gianfranco Vinay, Edgar Varèse, héritier de Berlioz au XXe siècle

11 - 12.30 Le contexte contemporain, chaired by Catherine Massip
Table ronde, Marc-André Dalbavie, James Dillon, Ivan Fedele, Michaël Levinas, Philippe Manoury, Martin Matalon, Costin Mierianu, Marco Stroppa

12.30 Closing speech by David Cairns

Music programme of the Comité International Hector Berlioz 2003

    The music programme organised by the Comité International Hector Berlioz as part of the celebrations of the bicentenary of Berlioz’s birth is as follows:

Year 2000

February and March:
The Orchestre de Paris completed the first part of its Berlioz 2000 Cycle in Paris with works based on the theme of “Faust in music”. The details of the concerts’ programme appeared on this site at the time. The last two concerts included the rarely performed fragments of Les Francs-Juges and the Huit Scènes de Faust, on 17 and 18 February respectively. Please see a review of these performances in the Reviews of live performances section (see also the review in the original French).

Also performed on 17 February was the Te Deum (complete version), conducted by John Nelson.

Berlioz’s Les Troyens was performed at the Salzburg Festival, at which time the travelling Berlioz exhibition organised by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs was opened, and the Comité International held a meeting and a press conference.

October - November:
The Orchestre de Paris gave two concerts in Paris, Lélio ou Le Retour à la vie and Overture Le Roi Lear.

Year 2001

February - March:
The Orchestre de Paris gave a series of concerts based on the theme of “Byron and the fascination with Italy”.

Year 2002

February - March:
The Orchestre de Paris gave a series of concerts on the theme of “Berlioz and Shakespeare,” including Roméo et Juliette under the direction of Claudio Abbado.

The orchestra also performed the Symphonie Fantastique and Benvenuto Cellini (overture) in a series of concerts in the USA, Japan, Hungary and the UK.

The Opéra Comique offered a concert performance of the opera Béatrice et Bénédict in May.

Year 2003

February - March:
The Orchestre de Paris gave a series of concerts on the theme of “Berlioz and Romanticism.”

At the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, there was a production of Berlioz’s epic opera Les Troyens, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. This production was recorded and released on DVD in 2004.

* The Chœur and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France performed the 18 February concert. A CD of the performance of Huit Scènes de Faust was issued by Erato Musique (details in the choral section of Berlioz Discography).

** A recording of this version of the Te Deum by the same orchestra and chorus at the Salle de la Mutualité, Paris, on 19 and 20 February 2000, was subsequently issued. The conductor is still John Nelson but the soloists are different from those who participated in the concert two days earlier. See the choral section of Berlioz Discography for details.

Berlioz exhibition in Paris – “Berlioz: la voix du romantisme”

    The Bibliothèque nationale de France organised and staged a great exhibition, entitled “Berlioz: the voice of romanticism”, in its François-Mitterrand building (Paris,13th arrondissement), which ran from 17 October 2003 till 18 January 2004.

    The items on display included: autographed scores and letters, portraits (such as Berlioz’s portraits by Signol and Corubet and those of his father and sisters), concert posters, instruments, documents (such as the certificate of Berlioz’s degree of Bachelor of Letters, Berlioz’s last will, his sister Nancy’s diary, his father’s Livre de raison, in which he chronicled family events), a copy of the first edition of the Memoires and autographs of some of the articles that Berlioz wrote for various journals.

    A large section was devoted to Berlioz’s travels in Europe. Some sketches and models for staging of his operas and a few costumes worn by singers in various productions were also on display. Some of the original copies of Adolphe Sax’s instruments were exhibited on a raised platform. One could also see Berlioz’s conducting baton and the guitar that Paganini gave him, with the two men’s signatures on it.

    The exhibition’s catalogue, entitled Berlioz, la voix du romantisme, is more than just a list of items displayed; it contains specially written thematic articles by eminent Berlioz scholars and champions such as Jean-Pierre Bartoli, Peter Bloom, Gunther Braam, David Cairns, David Charlton, Gérard Condé, D Kern Holoman, Hugh Macdonald, Cécil Reynaud, and many more. See our Berlioz Bibliography for details. The book is available for sale independently of the exhibition.

    See also our own photos of the exhibition posters and notices outside the main building in which the exhibition was held.

    The short virtual Berlioz Exhibition on the BNF’s own site is still available (March 2023).

Berlioz Bicentenary Concert at Warwick Festival

    The Festival, which was held on 9-13 July 2003, included a concert on 12 July devoted to three of Berlioz’s works: L’Invitation à la valse (Weber, orchestrated by Berlioz), Les Nuits d’été and Messe Solennelle, conducted by Kathrine Dienes.

Celebrations 1  Celebrations 2  Celebrations 4

The Hector Berlioz Website was created by Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin on 18 July 1997;
The Bicentenary Celebrations pages were 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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