Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec
Founded by Joseph Vézina in 1902, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the oldest active orchestra in Canada, has always been intimately connected with the events that mark the history of Quebec City. Proud of its French heritage, the orchestra is a staunch advocate of Canadian repertoire. Without abandoning its love for the great European and American orchestral repertoire, it has commissioned many new Canadian works. Thanks to this mix of interests and its versatility, the orchestra’s sound has often been identified as that of French America.
This unique sonic color was inherited from and shaped by several artistic directors such as Wilfrid Pelletier, Pierre Dervaux, James DePreist, Simon Streatfeild, and Yoav Talmi, and it has been further refined since 2012, when Fabien Gabel stepped up to the orchestra’s podium. As musical director, Fabien Gabel is exploring more of the French repertoire, also presenting major symphonic works such as Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Over the course of the years, the orchestra has invited a number of prestigious guest conductors and soloists, including Joseph Rouleau, Pierre Monteux, Sergiù Celibidache, Jon Vickers, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Murray Perahia, Maureen Forrester, Radu Lupu, Claudio Arrau, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Renata Scotto, Cecilia Bartoli, José van Dam, Plácido Domingo, and Jessye Norman.
Today, renowned artists such as Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Karina Gauvin, Jennifer Larmore, Emanuel Ax, Marc-André Hamelin, André Laplante, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Louis Lortie, Alain Lefèvre, Midori, Maxim Vengerov, James Ehnes, and Renaud Capuçon continue to perform frequently with the orchestra. A leader in cultural education and public outreach, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec contributes to the democratization of symphonic music with innovative projects such as Zoo musical® and the online educational platform la Galerie symphonique. The orchestra’s discography now includes 25 prize-winning titles (Diapason, Félix, Juno, etc.).
Recognized internationally as one of the stars of the new generation, Fabien Gabel is a regular guest of major orchestras in Europe, North America, and Asia, and has been music director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra since September 2012. He is also music director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons, taking over from David Zinman.
In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Fabien Gabel will return to conduct the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, and he will debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchester, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.
Recently, he has had successful guest-conducting engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt’s Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic.
He also regularly conducts the Orchestre de Paris, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Fabien Gabel has worked with soloists such as Emanuel Ax, Seong-Jin Cho, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alina Pogostkina, Julian Steckel, Johannes Moser, Antonio Meneses, Marc-André Hamelin, Beatrice Rana, Gautier Capuçon, Simone Lamsma, Xavier de Maistre, and Bertrand Chamayou; and with singers such as Jennifer Larmore, Measha Bruggergosman, Danielle de Niese, Natalie Dessay, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux.
Fabien first attracted international attention in 2004 by winning the Donatella Flick competition in London. This led to his appointment as the LSO’s assistant conductor for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Since then, the LSO has engaged him regularly as a guest conductor.