Les Forces Majeures
Founded by Raphaël Merlin (conductor and cellist with Quatuor Ébène) and Martin Kubich (Artistic Director of the Festival du Haut Limousin), Forces Majeures draws its members from instrumentalists with leading chamber-music ensembles (the Quatuors Ébène, Voce, Varèse, Tana, Psophos, Abegg, Giardini and Ardeo; the Trios Atanassov and Métral; and Quintette Aquilon …); with major French orchestras (the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and others); and recent graduates of prestigious music academies.
Varying in size from chamber ensemble to full orchestra, the group covers a vast repertoire ranging from the Classical era (end of the 18th century) to the present day. By choice, Forces Majeures avoids specialization, a rarity in the field of music, and is equally at home performing symphonic works or opera. Its mission is to bring together exceptional artists who share the essential attributes of sensibility, responsiveness and commitment that enable them to mount challenging programmes and provide audiences with dynamic and outstanding performances.
Forces Majeures gave their first concerts in August 2014 as part of the Festival du Haut Limousin and accompanied two artists of international stature: the pianist Nicholas Angelich and the mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes.
In June 2015, the ensemble recorded its first album devoted to Gioachino Rossini. That same year, the ensemble collaborated with the Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji and the French violinist Sarah Nemtanu and made its Paris debut at a concert given at the Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides and broadcast on Radio Classique.