The orchestra of the Grand Duchy, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL), represents a very dynamic part of the culture of its country. Since its brilliant debut in 1933 under the aegis of Radio Luxembourg (RTL), the orchestra has performed all over Europe. Publicly administered since 1996, the OPL has since 2005 been resident at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, one of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe.
The acoustics of its residence, praised by great orchestras, conductors, and soloists from all over the world, its long-standing relationships with renowned halls and festivals, as well as its close collaboration with first-rate musical personalities, have contributed to making the OPL an orchestra renowned for the elegance of its sound. Its standing has been confirmed by an impressive list of awards received for CDs released over the last few years: Grammy Award, Grand Prix Charles Cros, Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, BBC Music Choice, as well as, on several occasions, Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique along with many others.
In Gustavo Gimeno’s third season as Music Director (following Henri Pensis, Carl Melles, Louis de Froment, Leopold Hager, David Shallon, Bramwell Tovey, and Emmanuel Krivine), there is a particular emphasis on the scope of repertoire ranging from Charpentier, Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, Shostakovitch and Debussy to Bernstein, Feldman, and Czernowin. A new recording collaboration with the label Pentatone started with the release of the two volumes dedicated to Bruckner and Shostakovitch in May 2017.
The orchestra demonstrates its diversity in concert formats such as «L’Heure de pointe», «Lunch concerts», «Aventure+», regular opera productions staged at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, film-concerts such as «Live Cinema» in collaboration with the Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg and «Pops at the Phil» evenings.
Musical partnerships in the 2017/18 season include the artists in residence at the Philharmonie Paavo Järvi, Anna Prohaska and Jean-François Zygel. The OPL will perform with conductors including Lahav Shani, Susanna Mälkki, Juraj Valcuha, Karel Mark Chichon, Jérémie Rhorer or Nikolaj Znaider, and soloists such as Daniel Barenboim, Stefano Bollani, Khatia Buniatishvili, Anja Harteros, Anna Larsson, Sir Bryan Terfel, Krystian Zimerman and Frank Peter Zimmermann.
Alongside an extensive repertoire and diverse audiences, as well as the esteem of top-class guest performers, the OPL and the Philharmonie Luxembourg also share an interest in innovative educational projects for children and young people and indeed in adult education. Since 2003, the orchestra has taken on concerts and workshops for schools, children, and families, as well as educational DVD productions. It performs in schools and hospitals, and prepares school classes for its subscription concerts. Furthermore, it invites audiences to discover orchestral music with the help of well-known presenters such as Jean-François Zygel in its «Dating:» series.
The orchestra, which consists of 98 musicians is regularly invited to perform at music venues in Europe, as well as in Asia and the USA. In 2017/18, guest performances will take the orchestra to Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. OPL concerts are regularly broadcast by Luxembourg radio 100,7 and internationally by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The OPL is subsidised by the Ministry of Culture of the Grand Duchy and receives further support from the City of Luxembourg. Its sponsors are BGL BNP Paribas, Banque de Luxembourg, Batipart Invest, BCEE, Mercedes Benz, and POST Luxembourg. Since December 2012, a cello made by Matteo Goffriller (1659–1742), known as «Le Luxembourgeois», has been placed at the OPL’s disposal by BGL BNP Paribas.