Musical director of Insula Orchestra and Choeur Accentus , Laurence Equilbey is acknowledged for her demanding, yet open-minded approach to her art.
Her exploration of the symphonic repertoire has seen her conducting the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Lille, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Brussels Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, MDR Leipzig Symphony/MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Camerata Salzburg, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Danish National Symphony, Göteborg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln and Collegium Vocale Gent.
Since 2012 she is the Chief Conductor of the French Insula Orchestra with singular advancement and is regarded meanwhile as one of the most promising French conductors. Concert tours led them to the Barbican London, Theater an der Wien, Mozart Week Salzburg, to Basel and major concert houses in France. Since April 2017 Laurence Equilbey is responsible for programming about 30 concerts per season at Auditorium of La Seine Musicale at the south west side of Paris, featuring concerts of both the Insula Orchestra and international guest ensembles.
Upcoming highlights see her debuts with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Kammerakademie Potsdam as well as tours to Poland and a concert project with Thomas Hampson.
Laurence Equilbey is also an accomplished opera conductor. Past operatic engagements comprise Mozart's Lucio Silla (Theater an der Wien), Reynaldo Hahn's Ciboulette (Opera Comique Paris), Britten's Albert Herring (Opera National de Paris and Opera de Rouen Haute-Normandie), Der Freischütz (Opera de Toulon), Sous apparence (Opera de Paris), Gluck's Orpheus und Euridice (Cite de la Musique Paris) as well as Die Zauberflöte (Opera Grand Avignon).
Her discography includes numerous award-winning recordings with choral music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Fauré, Mozart at Naïve und Mirare Records as well as Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for Archiv Produktion Deutsche Grammophon, Mozart's Requiem for Naïve, Mozart's Coronation Mass and Schubert Lieder orchestrated by Liszt, Brahms, Strauss, Berlioz) for Erato/Warner. Erato releases the recording of the recently uncovered score of Gounod's Saint Francois d'Assisi.
Laurence Equilbey is also an associate artist of the Grand Théâtre de Provence Aix-en-Provence and a companion of the Cité de la Musique/Philharmonie de Paris.
She has studied music in Paris, Vienna and London, and conducting with Eric Ericson, Denise Ham, Colin Metters and Jorma Panula.
Season 2017/18Read more
Laurence Equilbey, Insula Orchestra, Choeur Accentus, soloists and La Fura dels Baus perform Haydn's Creation in a staged production (direction: Carlos Padrissa) at the
Ludwigsburger Schlossfestpiele on 1 and 2 June as well as in Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on 5 and 6 June.Read more
Laurence Equilbey conducts the inaugural concert of the new Paris concert hall, La Seine Musicale, with the Insula Orchestra, Choeur Accentus and soloists on 22 April. The programme features works by Mozart, Beethoven, Weber and Berlioz.
Laurence Equilbey debuts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Danish Radio Concert Choir in Copenhagen on 23 February conducting Niels Wilhelm Gade's Overture Nachklänge zu Ossian and the cantata Comala.
The Insula Orchestra and Choeur Accentus with soloists debut in Essen on 18 September under the musical direction of Laurence Equilbey. The programme features Mozart's Vesperae solennes and Coronation Mass C Major KV 317.
Laurence Equilbey conducts the Göteborg Symphony and Chorus and soloists in J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio, parts I-III on 8, 9 and 10 December.
Laurence Equilbey and the Choeur Accentus receive the Charles-Cros Academy Award, the French equivalent of the Grammy Award, for their recording of Felicien David's Le Desert by Naive Records.
Laurence Equilbey gives her debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony on 17 and 18 December conducting C.P. E. Bach‘s Magnificat, Beethoven‘s King Stephen and von
Weber’s cantata Kampf und Sieg, joined by the Choeur Accentus and soloists.
The French Insula Orchestra gives its international debut at the Mozart Week Salzburg under the direction of Laurence Equilbey on 1 February. The programme at the
Mozarteum features Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 c minor and Mozart’s Missa C major Coronation Mass together with the Choeur Accentus and soloists.Read more
Laurence Equilbey gives her debut with the MDR Symphony Orchestra and MDR Radio Choir on 25 December in Leipzig. The Christmas concert includes works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Franck, Fauré and Bizet.
Laurence Equilbey conducted Mozart’s Requiem with her Insula Orchestra and Choeur Accentus in Paris (Salle Pleyel) and Aix-en-Provence: "The magnificent evening was a consecration for conductor in complete osmosis
with her musicians… As though transcended, Laurence Equilbey opts for frank tempi and builds an architecture that delivers with fervour and humility the highly spiritual nature of this score"(ResMusica 11.02.2014). In 2015 Naïve Records releases the recording of the Mozart Requiem with Laurence Equilbey, Insula Orchestra and Choeur Accentus as their first CD.Read more
Laurence Equilbey has a vision. She favours a flexible and dark sound of the choir, which holds all the voices wonderfully balanced. Her trademark is a beautiful amalgam between French and German aesthetics, balancing between unsentimental clarity and profound feeling. (...) Her gestures might seem scarce, but very distinctive, she likes speedy tempi, but always leaves room for nuances. In addition, she structures this piece as a rounded narrative (...) A great and long applause followed.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Reinhard J. Brembeck, 18.05.2017
Laurence Equilbey war klar in der Zeichengebung und energisch im musikalischen Zugriff. Das war ein von verfeinerter Kultur geprägter Stil in lebhaften Tempi – Mozart aus dem Jungbrunnen (…). Glasklar und entschlackt, mit rhythmischem Bewusststein tönte der Chor. Diesem exquisiten vokalen Klangbild fügte sich das auf historischen Instrumenten spielende Orchester sensibel ein mit warmen Bläserfarben besonders in Mozarts „Krönungsmesse“ und schlankem, gegen jeden Pomp gewendeten Blech.
Westdeutsche Zeitung, K. Albrecht, 20.09.2016
The Frankfurt Radio Symphony was inspired by the concise direction of Laurence Equilbey in Carl Maria von Weber's Kampf und Sieg to a crisp shaping of sound. (…). Also in Beethoven’s incidental music King Stephen Laurence Equilbey held the reins tightly in her hands. In C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat Equilbey boosted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Choeur Accentus already in the opening choir to baroque drive. The singers of Accentus pleased with their pithy and noble vocalization, a homogeneous sound quality and a flawless German pronunciation (...). Enthusiastic applause.
Frankfurter Neue Presse, Michael Dellith, 19.12.2015
The Insula Orchestra and Accentus choir are led by Laurence Equilbey with verve and delicacy . . . Equilbey also sensibly lets the pace slacken for Orfeo's great lament, "Che faro", allowing it to be a true turning point in the drama.
Neil Fisher, The Times London, 18.09.2015
The interpretation of Mozart’s „Coronation Mass“, KV317, was supported by the sophisticated balance of the choir and orchestra. Here is revealed the sound culture of “Accentus” to weight the voices flexibly and form them plastically.
Salzburger Nachrichten, F. Oberhummer, 03.02.2015
In Schubert's Symphony no. 4 Tragic the Insula Orchestra has fully played its merits. (... ) The fourth is highly dramatic: Laurence Equilbey conjured this with electrifying signs already in the almost chaotic momentous Adagio molto at the beginning of the first Allegro. The Schubert own melancholy is prevalent , and was conveyed particularly insightful and beautifully toned in the Andante. A similar hopelessness also determines the finale, grand, impressively effective.
drehpunktkultur.at, Horst Reischenböck, 02.02.2015
Laurence Equilbey finds darkness and drama in Mozart's Requiem with her crack Chamber Choir Accentus and the recently convened Insula Orchestra. There is a touch of Teodor Currentzis' outlook, with the ticking of bow upon fingerboard in the "Dies Irae" and maximum drama wrought from the "Tuba mirum" - no surprise given soloists of the operatic pedigree. (…) A requiem to remember.
Gramophone, David Threasher, 1/2015
With remarkable rigor Laurence Equilbey evolves a sensual tone, painting and shaping without drowning the feast-literature in kitsch. Playing with nuances and details she is always having the big picture in mind. Between Mendelssohn, captivating with clarity and precision, and movements from Beethoven’s music for König Stephan, Max Reger’s Maria sitzt am Rosenhag – a real discovery – is dramaturgically wisely placed. The second part is characterized by French romanticism in a broader sense. Adolphe Adam’s Cantique is a perfect encore that could not meet a better interpreter than Karin Gauvin, the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and the MDR Leipzig Symphony under the direction of Laurence Equilbey. Standing ovation for a truly successful evening.
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Tatjana Böhmer-Mehner, 27.12.2014
The precise and chiseled direction from Laurence Equilbey gives relief to every note in the score, leading the ensemble with grace and gravity.
Toute la Culture, Bérénice Clerc, 10/2014
An orchestral sound like no other – sumptuous strings, pleasant winds, juicy brass, unique percussion – all serving to support a powerful and majestic choir and soloists. A great discovery.
DestiMed, Michel Egéa, 10/2014
The wiry Insula orchestra is softened by basset horns and bassoons, while the Accentus choir has a light European texture, robust where needed, but in the female voices of Voca me cum benedictis echoing ethereally into eternity.
The Guardian, Nicholas Kenyon, 28.09.2014
A new and magnificent version of Mozart’s Requiem.
Le Monde, Renaud Machart, 09/2014
The magnificent evening was a consecration for conductor in complete osmosis with her musicians…Equilbey’s precise gestures enhance the melodic intensity, amplified by sharp cueing and an obsessive pulse….As though transcended, Laurence Equilbey opts for frank tempi and builds an architecture that delivers with fervour and humility the highly spiritual nature of this score.
The interpretation of Mozart’s Requiem which, since the inaugural Dialoge, has traditionally closed the festival, was en event full of energy and enthusiasm, executed with spirit and passion by the Mozarteum Orchestra, under the precise and charismatic guidance of conductor Laurence Equilbey.
At the head of Insula orchestra, Laurence Equilbey cultivates the same sobriety, the same intelligent insight into the text
La lettre du musicien, 14.11.2013
Michel Fau’s poetically zany stage interpretation and the subtle conducting of Laurence Equilbey give Reynaldo Hahn’s ‘Ciboulette’ a new lease of life. In the pit, Laurence Equilbey unequivocally confirms her status as one of France’s upcoming conductors. Her precision, passionate energy and authority bring the Orchestra of the Toulon Opera to the level of cohesion and subtlety demanded by the deceptively simple music of Reynaldo Hahn, an elegant descendant of Mozart and Massenet.
Laurence Equilbey, with an almost unfathomable sense of form, not only strikes the right epoqual style, she also strikes the right sound.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28.07.2012
Accentus’s many fans have further reason to celebrate. All their hallmarks are in evidence here: springy rhythms, fine choral balance, clean, bright tone, splendid diction. A disc to treasure.
BBC Music Magazine, 03/2012
Laurence Equilbey amazes with Mozart's Mass in C minor, because she does not - as others have tried before - to compete with the Baroque magnificence of the church in an acoustic way. Instead she demands restraint from the orchestra, almost chamber-music-like... Dvořák's Mass in D major op. 86 could be heard as powerful mass. Laurence Equilbey lead the singers with a clear sense for architecture and structure. Enthusiastic applause for the choir and its founder.
Salzburger Nachrichten, 27.07.2012
Accentus / Insula Orchestra
Sandrine Piau, Renata Pokupic,
Benjamin Bruns, Andreas Wolf
Accentus / Insula Orchestra
Franco Fagioli, Malin Hartelius, Emmanuelle de Negri
DG Archiv Produktion (2015)
Accentus / Insula Orchestra
Sandrine Piau, Sara Mingardo, Werner Güra, Christopher Purves