ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DES PAYS DE LA LOIRE
In September 1971 the Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire gave its first concerts in Nantes and Angers under the baton of Pierre Dervaux. Created on the initiative of Marcel Landowski, music director at the Ministry of Culture, the original orchestra was formed by merging the Nantes Opera Orchestra and the Angers Orchestra of the Société des Concerts Populaires. Thus, since its beginning, the orchestra has been based in two cities: Angers and Nantes.
Pierre Dervaux was its first music director, followed by Marc Soustrot from 1976 to 1994, and Hubert Soudant from 1994 to 2004. The orchestra became “national” in 1996 with further concerts in Germany, Hungary, Austria, China, Japan and elsewhere. Following the Brazilian Isaac Karabtchevsky, the American conductor John Axelrod was appointed music director in September 2010, and was succeeded in February 2013 by Pascal Rophé, who has brought his own characteristic contribution to the orchestra’s repertoire.
The orchestra is supported financially by the regional council of the Pays de la Loire, the Ministry of Culture, the Nantes and Angers town councils, and the Départements of Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire and Vendée.