L'Orchestre des Grands Ballets

Orchestre de Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

Allan Lewis, Resident Conductor of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal Orchestra | PHOTO : Jean-Laurent Ratel


Our orchestra, featuring superior soloists under the baton of conductors Allan Lewis and Florian Ziemen, has been playing a major role in the success of Les Grands Ballets for more than 30 years. Comprising up to 70 musicians, including some of the finest in Montreal, the Orchestra will accompany almost every production in the 2013-2014 season, appearing in both Théâtre Maisonneuve and Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts.

The live dialogue between dance artists and musicians requires great technical precision, which results in highly stimulating performances for the audience.

Allan Lewis

The music director and principal conductor of the Joffrey Ballet for over twenty years, Allan Lewis was at the rostrum during the company’s historic re-staging of Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Paris in 1990. He also conducted the Joffrey’s Homage to Diaghilev starring Rudolf Nureyev, both on Broadway and at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Among the renowned orchestras, Lewis has conducted over the course of his international career are the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Orchestra of the National Theatre of Prague, Budapest Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony. He has also conducted the San Francisco Opera’s Fol de Rol gala, featuring Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and other worldfamous singers.

Allan Lewis took up his present position as Resident Conductor of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal Orchestra in May 2007.

Florian Ziemen - invited conductor

Les Grands Ballets | Florian Ziemen, chef d'orchestre pour Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de MontréalBorn in Munich, conductor Florian Ziemen studied piano and conducting at the Munich Conservatory and Musikhochschule. He continued his studies at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London with Colin Metters and George Hurst and gained further inspiration from working closely with period performance specialists like Sir Roger Norrington, Reinhard Goebel and Michael Hofstetter.

In 2003, Ziemen began working at the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, one of Germany’s foremost opera houses, at first as a repetiteur before he was appointed Kapellmeister. In seven years he conducted there over 100 opera and ballet performances.

From 2010 to 2012, as resident conductor of the opera house in Bremen, he conducted a broad operatic repertoire as well as sensational successes such as “historically informed” productions of German and Austrian operettas and the world premiere of Moritz Eggert’s monumental opera All diese Tage.

Invitations have led to appearances conducting the Komische Oper Berlin, the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Wuppertal Opera as well as Badische Staatskapelle, Bochumer Symphoniker, Bergische Symphoniker, Münchner Symphoniker, Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt and others.

In August 2012, Florian Ziemen was appointed at the opera house of Gießen where he conducts operas, symphony concerts and ballet productions.

In 2010, he made his debut at Les Grands Ballets with Christian Spuck’s Leonce and Lena and returned in 2013 for Mats Ek’s Sleeping Beauty and in 2014 for La nuit tranfigurée of Stijn Celis. He also created the musical score for Peter Quanz’s Rodin/Claudel.

Oleksiy Baklan - invited conductor

Oleksiy Baklan was born in Kiev in 1961 into a family of renowned soloist dancers with the Kiev Opera. In 1987, he graduated from the Kiev State Conservatory, where he studied conducting under Stefan Turchak. For his degree, he conducted Giselle at the Kiev Opera. Since then, he has been the resident conductor of the National Opera of Ukraine. From 1995 to 2008, he was the principal conductor of the Kiev Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre for Children, and became its Artistic Director four years ago. In 2009, he received the title of “People’s Artist of Ukraine.” He has been a guest conductor with the New National Theatre in Tokyo since 2007 and with the Corella Ballet (Spain) since 2010. Over the last few years, he has worked with the New Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Ballet Orchestra (Canada), the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in Mexico City, the Orquesta de la Comunidad in Madrid, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia in Spain. His repertoire includes ballets such as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, A. Adam’s Giselle and Le Corsaire, L. Minkus’s Don Quixotte, La Bayadère and Paquita, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Peter and the Wolf, H. Levenshold’s La Sylphide, Khachaturian’s Spartacus, J. Strauss’s Viennese Waltz, Delibes’ Coppélia, Bizet and Schedrin’s Carmen Suite, as well as operas such as Verdi’s Rigoletto and La Traviata, Rimski-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Boito’s Mefistofele, and Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi. He has also conducted Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and several symphonic programs.
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