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Marc Soustrot, our favourite conductor from France, was on top form as usual – and the musicians love him for that (…). And there is something else that other conductors (…) rarely give: heart. Stuttgarter Zeitung
Marc Soustrot is considered a specialist of French orchestral literature. He is also well-known for his deep involvement in contemporary music, which he has cultivated since the beginning of his career. He has been the artistic director and chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire (1976 – 1994), the Beethoven Orchester Bonn (1995 – 2003) and Het Brabants Orkest Eindhoven (1996 – 2006). He has been chief conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra since the 2011/12 season and of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra since the 2015/16 season. The Danish city of Aarhus has been named European Capital of Culture in 2017.
As a guest conductor, Soustrot has worked with the Staatskapelle Dresden, Munich Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Filharmonie Antwerpen, Residentie Orkest Den Haag and the Philharmonic Orchestras of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Luxembourg, Barcelona and Tokyo.
Marc Soustrot has many years of experience in the opera world and a vast operatic repertoire, including works such as Don Giovanni, Carmen, Werther, Pelléas et Mélisande, operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Jacques Offenbach, as well as Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. Furthermore he has successfully conducted a number of contemporary operas, such as Ernst Krenek’s Karl V. He has worked with the orchestras of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Teatro Real Madrid, Grand Théâtre de Genève, La Monnaie de Munt, Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen and the Norwegian National Opera Oslo.
In 2012 he garnered much praise for his interpretation of Francis Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmelites at the Royal Swedish Opera and the Stuttgart Opera. Returning to Stuttgart, he recently conducted Götterdämmerung, Siegfried, Der Rosenkavalier and Bizet’s Carmen. In 2015 he gave his successful debut conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in a new production of Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (staging: Álex Ollé/La Fura dels Baus) at the Semperoper Dresden.
In the 2016/17 season he will lead new productions of Gounod’s Faust (staging: Frank Castorf) at the Stuttgart Opera and Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher by Honegger (staging: Àlex Ollé) at the Frankfurt Opera with Marion Cotillard in the title role. Under his baton the rarely performed oratorio L’enfance du Christ by Berlioz will be presented with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
Marc Soustrot has conducted on a number of prize-winning CDs and is currently recording the complete symphonic work of Camille Saint-Saëns with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra for Naxos. In 2008 he was honoured with the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
Born in Lyon, Soustrot studied trombone and piano at the Conservatoire de Lyon until 1969, when he began training as a conductor with Manuel Rosenthal in Paris.
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorised by the artist management.
on "Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher", Opernhaus Frankfurt, June 2017:
The musical direction, incorporating everything from the rare Ondes Martenot with its distinctive howl to innocent-sounding French folk song, lay in the expert hands of Marc Soustrot, who did a fantastic job with the Frankfurter Museumsorchester.
Musik Heute, Bettina Boyens, 12.6.2017
Marc Soustrot conducted thoughtfully and with exact phrasing.
Frankfurter Rundschau, Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, 12/6/2017
Marc Soustrot ensured a connection between both works and a sense of dramatic development through a highly differentiated and majestic interpretation that made no compromises.
klassik.com, Christiane Franke, 11/6/2017
on Gounods "Faust", Stuttgart Opera 2016:
Leading the Staatsorchester, Marc Soustrot was well suited to the airy lightness of Gounod, especially where the style was close to Jacques Offenbach. Under Soustrot’s baton, the music had a fluency, radiance and malleability as well as clear contouring and sense of direction. Elsewhere, the singers had a highly sensitive and reactive dynamic range.
Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Susanne Benda, 2/11/2016
Musically, the performance was of a very high standard. The Stuttgart Staatsorchester performed the score flawlessly and emphasized its passionate sumptuousness. The magnificent, opulent melodies were particularly successful in this well considered performance. (…) Soustrot and the Stuttgart Staatsorchester vividly illustrated real feeling – Gounod the “church musician” also comes into his own. (…) Marc Soustrot achieved a fine balance between orgiastic obsession and aloof asceticism. (…) He gave free rein to the Stuttgart Staatsorchester’s intuitive sense of musical colour.
Der neue Merker, 2/11/16
Conductor Marc Soustrot and the Stuttgart Staatsorchester’s interpretation only got better throughout the opera’s three hour duration. Sinewy soundscapes, pacey tempi, feisty directness, frothy lyricism – all was present and fully realised.
Münchner Merkur, Markus Thiel, 2/11/2016
The famous Kapellmeister Soustrot, the resplendent-sounding orchestra and the Staatsopernchor – magnificently prepared by Johannes Knecht – stormed through the score with celebratory fervour. Brisk, agile, light-hearted and funny, in serious moments the ensemble could be powerful and brooding, with dark, booming trombone – particularly in the curse scene, when Valentin returns from the war and dies in the public square for all to see.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Eleonore Büning, 1/11/2016
on Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier", Stuttgart Opera, April 2015:
Marc Soustrot, our favourite conductor from France, was on top form as usual – and the musicians love him for that: precision, freedom, elegance and brutality, charm and sarcasm; he recalls everything that Strauss wrote in this “comedy for music.” And there is something else that other conductors at this venue rarely give: heart.
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 14/04/2015
Conducting the velvety strings, and focused and precise brass players of the splendid Staatsorchester, Marc Soustrot holds the reins of the Viennese spirit that Richard Strauss gave the piece: the waltz prances and lingers when called for and pulls back when the articulation of the sung part comes to the fore. This is an interpretation of Strauss that (…) has been worked on very precisely so that all the tone quality comes across cleanly: music with zest and wit.
Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 14/04/2015
on Debussy’s "Pelléas et Mélisande", Semperoper Dresden, January 2015:
I have rarely experienced Debussy’s opera performed with such delicate pastel-coloured sensitivity. Although Soustrot by all means also produced dramatic tension with compelling intensification, where necessary. Powerful conducting.
Die deutsche Bühne, 24/01/2015
The French conductor Marc Soustrot discreetly and powerfully leads the Sächsische Staatskapelle, which is noticeably engaged in the interpretation.
Der Tagesspiegel, 29/01/2015
on Wagner's "Götterdämmerung", Stuttgart State Opera, January 2013:
The orchestra plays brilliantly and, together with its conductor, already receives standing ovations after the second interval. Indeed, an orchestral sound develops that radiates the most stunning colours; the brass is flawless, beautiful and pure in every register. Marc Soustrot, who has shone on many occasions as conductor in Stuttgart, uses every dynamic without obscuring the singers in the loud passages. He gives full and impressive scope to the dramatic breath of the music.
Online Musik Magazin, 03/02/2013
The musicians were highly concentrated under the very accomplished direction of Marc Soustrot, playing with great intensity, producing a rich sound and implementing the conductor’s intentions marvellously. (…). Soustrot’s main focus was on bringing out the multi-layered network of musical motifs, never letting the tension waiver. It was absolutely brilliant to witness how he concisely explored and contrasted the various leitmotifs in all their ramifications, interconnections and modifications.
Der Opernfreund, 01/02/2013
|H. Tomasi||Fanfares liturgiques|
|C. Gounod||Petite Sinfonie|
|A. Schönberg||Verklärte Nacht|
|F. Mendelssohn||Concerto for violin|
|A. Bruckner||Symphony No. 7|
|R. Strauss||Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche|
|M. de Falla||Noches en los jardines de España|
|M. Ravel||Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 1 + 2|
|C. Debussy||Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune|
|E. Chausson||Poème de lamour et de la mer|
|H. Berlioz||Symphonie Fantastique|
| || || || |