New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Music Director Jacques Lacombe is renowned as a remarkable conductor whose artistic integrity and rapport with orchestras have propelled him to international stature.
Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 2002 to 2006, Maestro Lacombe led the orchestra in more than 100 performances during his tenure. He served for three years as Music Director of both orchestra and opera with the Philharmonie de Lorraine, Associate Conductor with the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon Provence, and has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières since 2006. In September 2010, he succeeded Neeme Järvi as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, a contract that was recently extended through 2016.
Since that appointment, Lacombe has garnered popular and critical praise for his creative programming and development of the NJSO. Under his leadership, the Orchestra’s “Man & Nature” Winter Festivals have included highly renowned performances of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire—with a realization of the composer’s “color organ”—and the commissioning of the Francesca Harper Project to create original choreography for Beethoven’s ballet The Creatures of Prometheus. He also created the multi-year “New Jersey Roots Project,” highlighting contemporary works by New Jersey composers.
In 2013/14 Lacombe spends guest weeks with the Montréal, Quebec and Columbus symphony orchestras. He conducts the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra throughout the season, with highlights including a “New World” themed season opener presenting the world premiere of the NJSO’s commission for jazz pianist Geri Allen (framed by works of Ellington and Dvorak); the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s new work for orchestra, and the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s “Earth Concerto”, as part of the annual NJSO Winter Festival.
A seasoned operatic conductor, Lacombe returns to the Opéra de Monte Carlo to lead performances of Donizetti’s “La Favorite,” both in Monaco and in Paris, with tenor Juan Diego Florez. In Strasbourg, he leads a new production of the rarely performed “Le roi Arthus” by Ernest Chausson, and a new production of “Dialogues of the Carmelites” in Nantes. Also this season, Lacombe leads performances of both the Fauré and Verdi Requiems.
Lacombe and the NJSO received national recognition at Carnegie Hall’s 2012 Spring for Music Festival, where he led the Orchestra, and pianist Marc-André Hamelin in the epic Busoni Piano Concerto. Anthony Tommasini wrote for the The New York Times, “It was an honor to be in the hall for the astonishing performance of the Busoni concerto.”
He also participated in the inaugural season of the new hall of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and has led New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concerts with distinguished soloists including Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, André Watts, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and Yefim Bronfman.
In addition to recent engagements with the Toronto and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, and several tours and recordings with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Lacombe has worked abroad with the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga in Spain and with orchestras in Monte-Carlo, Nice, Toulouse, Halle and throughout Eastern Europe. He has also led the Victoria Orchestra (Melbourne) and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Lacombe’s work in opera includes all-star productions of La Boheme and Tosca at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the world premiere of John Estacio’s Lillian Alling with the Vancouver Opera, Le Cid and the world premiere of Marius et Fanny with l’Opéra de Marseille, and many productions with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including Un Ballo in Maschera, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der fliegende Holländer, Eugene Onegin, and Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgörge. Lacombe has also led a number of operatic rarities with the Deutsche Oper, including Die Dorfschule by Felix von Weingartner, Carl Orff’s Gisei – Das Opfer, and Waltershausen’s Oberst Chabert, which was produced by CPO in 2011 as a live CD. He has led productions with Opéra de Monte-Carlo, at the Teatro Regio in Turin, and with the Metropolitan Opera, where he led Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Jules Massenet’s Werther.
He has recorded for the CPO and Analekta labels, and leads Janáček’s Suite from The Cunning Little Vixen and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on a recent release from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast on PBS, the CBC, Mezzo TV in Europe, Arte TV in France and on Hungarian Radio-Television.
Born in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Québec, Jacques Lacombe received his musical training at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. He received Québec’s highest civilian honor in 2012, when he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec. In 2013, Lacombe was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the highest civilian honors in the country.
(November 2013. Please discard previously dated materials and contact firstname.lastname@example.org before making any alterations or cuts.)