Founding director of ‘Orchestre National de Lille’
Artistic director of ‘Lille Piano(s) Festival’
After more than forty years at the head of ‘Orchestre National’ de Lille, which he created in 1976, Jean-Claude Casadesus, who remains the founding director, continues to appear in three series per season all while pursuing his international career. He remains artistic director of the ‘Lille Piano (s) Festival’.
The orchestra, under his direction, has travelled the world (32 countries on 4 continents – USA, Latin America, Africa, Russia, China and Kazakhstan) and has conducted an exemplary policy of spreading and raising awareness among children and audiences who do not have access to music.
Ardent defender of contemporary music, (he studied orchestral conducting with Pierre Boulez), he has set up residencies for composers also chairing the association ‘Musique Nouvelle en Liberté’ since 2001.
His discographies of over thirty CDs with ‘Orchestre National de Lille’ was unanimously hailed by the public and critics. His latest recordings “The Life of a Hero” by Richard Strauss and the “Second Symphony” by Mahler received an enthusiastic reception. They are followed by Mahler’s’Chant de la Terre’ and a CD dedicated to Henri Dutilleux, including ‘Les Métaboles’…
As guest conductor, he has played on major international stages – Moscow, Singapore, Montreal, Baltimore, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, Philadelphia, Monte Carlo and Berlin. Before participating, alongside a great master Pierre Dervaux, in the creation of ‘Orchestre des Pays de la Loire’ of which he was assistant director, he was engaged at the beginning of his career as musical director of ‘Châtelet’ in Paris before being appointed principal conductor at the ‘Opéra de Paris’ and the ‘Opéra-Comique’. His taste for opera led him to direct important lyrical productions such as the ‘Festival d’Aix-en-Provence’, in Orange, Paris, Trieste, Monte Carlo, the ‘Opera Flandres’ and of course the ‘Opera de Lille’ (with a very memorable CARMEN staged by JF Sivadier).
Very mindful about passing on to future generations, he led for three years ‘Orchestre Français des Jeunes’ (French Youth Orchestra) and most recently ‘Orchestre des Jeunes du CNSM’ of Paris at the Philharmonie. In 2016, he was called to the presidency of the ‘Ecole Supérieure Musique et Danse des Hauts de France’.
He has written two books, ‘Le plus court chemin d’un cœur à un autre’ published by Stock in 1997 and ‘La partition d’une vie’ published in 2012 by ‘Éditions Écriture’.
Jean-Claude Casadesus has received numerous awards:
‘Commandeur of the Légion d’Honneur’, ‘Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Mérite’, ‘Commandeur des Arts et Lettres’, ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre d’Orange-Nassau’, ‘Officier de l’Ordre de Léopold de Belgique’, ‘Chevalier des Palmes académiques’ and in 2004, the ‘Victoires de la Musique’ awarded him a ‘Victoire d’honneur’.
This season, besides Lille, he has led ‘Orchestre National de France’, the ‘Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo’, Saint Petersburg , Bordeaux, the New Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra for 2 concerts in Tokyo and 2 in Hiroshima , then onto Germany, Latvia and the Novosibirsk Festival.