Insula orchestra’s artistic project is built around a repertoire ranging mainly from the Classical to the Romantic eras. Mozart, Schubert or Weber form naturally the core of this repertoire with symphonic programmes as well as programmes with choir and soloists.
The orchestra plays on period instruments, working on sonority appropriate for today’s large concert halls. The project relies first and foremost on an emotional and stylistic research. The musicians – gathered around a small group of renowned and experienced section leaders – are recruited among the young generation graduating from European specialised higher education institutions.
This ensemble, founded by Laurence Equilbey and the Conseil départemental des Hauts-de-Seine in 2012, has reached out beyond its homeland on the western edge of Paris to the rest of France and beyond, performing at major venues and high-profile festivals. In Hauts-de-Seine, a full range of cultural and educational initiatives has been designed, notably to foster awareness among potential audiences who have never had the opportunity to approach classical music, as well as educational and participatory projects involving young people and schools.
Insula orchestra pays particular attention to vocal soloists, with artists such as Sandrine Piau, Werner Güra, Franco Fagioli or Ann Hallenberg. The orchestra also perfoms with prestigious soloists on period instruments such as Antoine Tamestit (violinist), Abdel Rahman El Bacha and Kristian Bezuidenhout (pianists).
Insula orchestra’s 15/16 season opens with Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, continues with a Beethoven program with the pianist Nicholas Angelich and proposes Lucio Silla, a Mozart’s opera with Franco Fagioli, Paolo Fanale and Olga Pudova.
The orchestra regularly proposes innovative and fun web projects: Flashmobs’Art with principal dancers Marie-Agnès Gillot and Alice Renavand at the Château de Versailles in 2013, Take the baton in 2014, the Happening musical at the Salle du Jeu de Paume (Versailles) in 2015, and webseries Log book / Journal de bord around record releases (the webserie around Mozart’s Requiem was seen almost 100 000 times).
Insula orchestra’s first recording, Mozart’s Requiem, with Sandrine Piau, Sara Mingardo, Werner Güra and Christopher Purves, was released in September 2014 on the naïve label. Recorded with the accentus choir and conducted by Laurence Equilbey, it was acclaimed by the press. Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Franco Fagioli will be released in September 2015 on Deutsche Grammophon label (Archiv Produktion).
Insula orchestra receives support from Hauts-de-Seine General Council and is in residence at Carré Belle-Feuille at Boulogne-Billancourt.
Mécénat Musical Société Général is the principal patron of accentus.