For more than twenty years, the Ensemble Matheus has been one of the most renowned ensembles in the world of classical music, thanks to its bold and accessible artistic approach.
Jean-Christophe Spinosi created the Matheus Quartet in 1991, driven by his desire for innovation and continual research, and it soon evolved into the Ensemble Matheus.
Playing in variable formation from ‘chamber ensemble’ to ‘symphonic orchestra’, the Ensemble Matheus has since its inception endeavoured to combine different music genres. It performs a wide repertoire extending from the Baroque music to contemporary on both modern and traditional instruments.
Its passion and pioneering enthusiasm for original repertoire led it to make a series of recordings devoted to Vivaldi, a composer whose masterpieces were then absent from the discography: it produced several albums and four operas which quickly became legendary, arousing an excited following throughout the world.
Through numerous concerts and recordings, it has developed musical friendships with like-minded well-known artists: among them Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Natalie Dessay, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Sandrine Piau, and many others.
The Ensemble Matheus performs every season since 2007 new opera productions at the Théâtre du Châtelet: La Pietra del Paragone, Véronique, Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, Norma, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Orlando Paladino and Il re pastore.
Other appearances in Paris include productions at the Opéra National de Paris (Alcina) and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Cosi fan tutte and Orlando Furioso), where it was given standing ovations for Die Zauberflöte.
Proud of its Breton origins, the Ensemble Matheus is equally active in its home region of Brittany, in residence at the Quartz in Brest since 1996. These strong local roots lead it to many regional tours, performing in Lorient, Vannes, Saint-Brieuc, Morlaix and at the Opéra de Rennes, not forgetting neighbouring towns.
In view of making classical music more accessible to all, the Ensemble Matheus will continue its series of educational programmes devoted to young people. It will also set up for the sixth year running an “Opéra en Région”, a project it initiated and that takes a full opera production on tour throughout Brittany.
The Ensemble Matheus has performed all around the world, including New York (Carnegie Hall), Vienna (Konzerthaus, Theater an der Wien), Zurich (Tonhalle), London (BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, Wigmore Hall), Rome (Accademia Santa Cecilia), Bilbao (Sociedad Filarmónica, Bilbao Opera), Québec (Grand Théâtre), Dortmund (Konzerthaus)... After their triumph at the Theater an der Wien in Le Comte Ory, the Ensemble Matheus and Cecilia Bartoli continued their close collaboration with two more Rossini operas, Otello at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and La Cenerentola at both Whitsun and Summer Salzburg Festival in 2014.
Their last recording for Deutsche Grammophon was unanimously acclaimed by the press and received the “Choc” distinction from Classica magazine.
The highlights of the beginning of the 2015-2016 season have essentially been the performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis on European tour, Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea directed by Claus Guth at the Theater an der Wien, that will also be presented at Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow by the spring of 2017. In January 2016 the Ensemble Matheus started a symphonic tour throughout Brittany with pieces from Beethoven’s and Brahms’ repertoire. It will perform too at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, at the Moscow Philharmonic, at the Arena in Brest, at the Lotte Art Center in Seoul… Finally the big event of the season will be the not-to-be-missed “Folle Nuit des Matheus à l’Olympia” on April 29th.
The Ensemble Matheus is subsidised by the Conseil régional de Bretagne, the Conseil départemental du Finistère, the town of Brest, and the Ministère de la culture et de la communication – DRAC de Bretagne. The Ensemble Matheus is in residence at the Quartz in Brest. Its performances are kindly supported by its sponsors, BNP Paribas - Banque de Bretagne and Altarea Cogedim. Air France is the official partner of the Ensemble Matheus.