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Founded fifty years ago and directed by Joël Suhubiette for the last twenty years, the Ensemble Jacques Moderne - composed of a vocal and instrumental ensemble and enriched by musicological research - performs two centuries of ancient European music, from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque vocal music.

Joël Suhubiette

Published 22/02/2018

For many years Joël Suhubiette has been an active performer in vocal music ranging from a cappella repertoire, oratorios, to operas, and renaissance to contemporary music. With his two professional vocal ensembles - The Chambre choir les éléments in Toulouse and the Ensemble Jacques Moderne in Tours - he has worked in close collaboration with musicologists for ancient music and has premiered many works by contemporary composers.

After studying music at the University of Toulouse and the Conservatoire de Toulouse, Joël Suhubiette started his career by singing with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie, then with Philippe Herreweghe’s two choirs: La Chapelle Royale in Paris and Collegium Vocale Gent in Belgium. This was to be a decisive meeting and in 1990, Herreweghe gave him the role of assistant for the following eight years, which allowed him to work on a large repertoire representing four centuries of vocal music.

At the same time, in 1993, Joël Suhubiette succeeded Jean-Pierre Ouvrard as the conductor of the vocal and instrumental Ensemble Jacques Moderne in Tours, performing European early music ranging over more than two centuries, from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque vocal music.

In 1997, in Toulouse, Joel Suhubiette founded the Chamber choir les éléments, consisting of 16 to 40 singers, to perform contemporary creations, the 19th and 20th century a cappella repertoire and masterpieces of baroque and classical oratorios. In 2006, les éléments was awarded “Ensemble of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique ceremony and today is recognised as one of France’s greatest choirs.

With his two ensembles, Joël Suhubiette has appeared in the principal French regional venues and festivals, and frequently in Paris (Cité de la Musique, Théâtre du Chatelet, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées…). He has toured throughout Europe (Spain, Portugal, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Latvia, Czech Republic…), Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Japan and the Americas (USA, Canada, Colombia). He has recorded more than 25 albums with many labels such as Virgin Classics, Hortus, Caliope, Ligia, Naïve, l’Empreinte Digitale and more recently, Mirare.

Joël Suhubiette has conducted several major French orchestras and instrumental ensembles (Café Zimmermann, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, Les Passions, Les Folies Françoises, Gli Incogniti, Concerto Soave, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ensemble Ars Nova…) and as well as performing on the concert stage, he has conducted operas in Opéra de Dijon and Festival de Saint-Céré (Mozart’s Don Giovani, Magic Flute, Marriage of Figaro, Abduction from the Seraglio, Opera Bouffa of Offenbach, and les Caprices de Marianne by Henri Sauguet.).  At the Opéra de Massy he conducted the French premiere of Kurt Weill’s Silbersee.

Since 2006, Joël Suhubiette has been the Artistic Director of the Festival Musique des Lumières de l’Abbaye-école de Sorèze.

He was recently awarded the Officier des Arts et des Lettres honour by the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs.