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The Orchestre Colonne was founded in 1873 by the violinist and conductor Edouard Colonne, becoming one of the most highly regarded Parisian orchestras.

The Concerts Colonne promoted the contemporary music of the time, featuring Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Fauré, D’Indy, Charpentier, Debussy, Widor, Dukas, Ravel, Chabrier, Wagner and Richard Strauss. Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Grieg, Richard Strauss and Prokofiev all came to conduct their works at the Concerts Colonne.

The orchestra has also been conducted by many distinguished artists including Gabriel Pierné, Paul Paray, Charles Munch, Pierre Dervaux, Antonello Allemandi, Lovro von Matačić, Sylvain Cambreling, Dennis Russell Davies, Michel Corboz, Kent Nagano and, since 2004, by Laurent Petitgirard, its current music director.

In addition to its own concert season at venues including the Salle Pleyel, the Salle Gaveau, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and, since 2017, the historic Salle Wagram, the orchestra took part in the Opéra de Paris ballet programme. It has made a number of soundtrack recordings.

Role: Orchestra 
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