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René Jacobs
Conductor

© Bertrand Pichene

With over 260 recordings to his name spanning a career as a singer, conductor, researcher and teacher, René Jacobs is one of the most eminent figures in the fields of baroque and classical music today. As a boy he was a singer and soloist in the choir of the Cathédrale Saint-Bavon in his home city of Ghent. He continued singing while he studied classical philology at university. His encounters with Alfred Deller, the Kuijken brothers and Gustav Leonhardt would prove instrumental in his decision to specialise in baroque music and he quickly established himself as one of the most important countertenors of his era. In 1977, he created the Concerto Vocale Ensemble to explore vocal chamber music and baroque opera and in doing so produced an impressive series of disks, many of which were world premieres and hailed by the international critics. 1983 was the year of Cesti at the Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck.
His responsibilities as artistic director of that same festival from 1996 to 2009, his engagements at the Berlin Staatsoper from 1992 as well as the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and Vienna’s Theater an der Wien from 2006 and at other prestigious theatres throughout Europe, America and Asia led him to conduct as many rare works as celebrated titles, ranging from early baroque to Beethoven and Rossini. In addition to this vigorous operatic activity, sacred music has always held a very important place in René Jacobs’ career. His work in every field stands apart thanks to his tireless pioneering spirit, his extensive research of historical sources and a distinctive combination of erudition and musical instinct, exemplified in, among others, his internationally acclaimed recordings of Mozart’s operas. His CD of Le Nozze di Figaro won a Grammy Award and the magazine Gramophone in England paid tribute to all of his interpretations of Mozart’s operas. Made a Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Ghent, René Jacobs has received numerous international awards and distinctions.

René Jacobs is making his Paris Opera debut.

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