Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

19 August – 11 September 2022
Artistic directors Bertrand Chamayou & Jean-François Heisser
Full programme :

  • Major international festival centred around Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) celebrates composer in his birthplace
  • Audacious programme brings to life Ravel’s universe with three weeks of concerts, conferences and discovery events
  • Académie Ravel continues its lauded work nurturing stars of tomorrow with ambitious series of concerts and public masterclasses
  • Concert highlights of 2022: 
    • Daphnis et Chloé performed by Les Siècles & François-Xavier Roth – metres from where the work was composed
    • Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse gives 100th anniversary performance of Pictures at an Exhibition orchestrated by Ravel 
    • La Tempête performs an “‘Imaginary Requiem”for Charles V’, whose castle was nearby
    • Orchestras and soloists include: Czech Philharmonic & Semyon Bychkov with Katia & Marielle Labèque; Orchestre national de Bordeaux & Ariane Matiakh with Patricia Petibon; Renaud Capuçon; Philippe Jaroussky; Sol Gabetta; Karine Deshayes; Bertrand Chamayou…

Both a major international festival with a rich and audacious programme, and an academy nurturing the stars of tomorrow, the annual FESTIVAL RAVEL is one of France’s major cultural players and the international reference for the composer. The 2022 festival (19 August – 11 September) offers over 30 concerts, conferences and discovery events across the Basque country – the composer’s birthplace – while bringing together nearly 800 artists including soloists, ensembles, choirs and orchestras, often with performances of Ravel’s works mere steps away from where they were actually composed.

At the crossroads of French, Basque and Spanish cultures, and under the joint artistic direction of pianists Bertrand Chamayou and Jean-François Heisser, the festival takes its ethos from the qualities for which Ravel was celebrated: open-minded, visionary, modern, human.Via bold programming infused with a “Ravelian” spirit, the wish is to revive the creative universe from the first part of the 20th century, when the region became an artistic meeting point at the highest level, attracting brilliant minds from Chaliapin, Stravinsky, and Pavlovsky, to Prokofiev, Poulenc, Debussy, and Coco Chanel.Festival Ravel 2022thus boasts three weeks of concerts taking place across the region, with highlights including: the complete Daphnis et Chloé performed by François-Xavier Roth, Les Siècles  and the Landarbaso Abesbatza choir in Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), the same street in which Ravel lived and composed the work; the 100th anniversary performance of Pictures at an Exhibition by Rimsky-Korsakov orchestrated by Ravel, performed by Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse; and La Tempête performing an “‘Imaginary Requiem”for Charles Quint’; conferences on great modernist visionaries such as Messiaen, Xenakis and Eduardo Chillida; top orchestras, conductors and soloists including Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov with Katia & Marielle Labèque, Orchestre national de Bordeaux & Ariane Matiakh with Patricia Petibon; Renaud Capuçon, Philippe Jaroussky, Sol Gabetta, Karine Deshayes and Bertrand Chamayou, who performs the major works Messiaen’s complete Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus, and Liszt’s complete Années de Pèlerinage.  As well as major works by Ravel, programming ranges from French baroque and romanticism – so belovèd of Ravel – to 20th century avant-garde and Ravel revisited by contemporary composers.

Meanwhile the spirit of transmission infuses the festival, not least with Jean-François Heisser and Bertrand Chamayou – formerly mentor and student – as its joint artistic directors. The Académie Ravelcontinues its important work at the heart of the festival in nurturing the next generation of performers and composers, with an enticing programme (29 August – 10 September) of concerts, public masterclasses and conferences. This year the Académie is enriched with a new composition class, supported by composers-in-residence,Philippe Manoury and Ramon Lazkano.

Co-Artistic Director Bertrand Chamayou comments: FESTIVAL RAVEL continues its ambitious work in fast becoming the worldwide reference for Maurice Ravel. We’re thrilled to bring to life Ravel’s universe, honouring his inimitable spirit in a 21st century setting, all while bringing together the region’s three cultures of French, Spanish and Basque. We celebrate the “Ravelian” qualities of tolerance and openness, and a state of mind which, from a musicological point of view, bring us back to Ravel. First of all, there are the composers of his time, whether they are his contemporaries (Debussy, Satie, de Falla, etc.) or his elders (Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Chabrier, etc.), but also his broad musical tastes from baroque to romanticism. Ravel’s passion for novelty and creation is also a thread, as are his influences from jazz and non-European music. Inspired by his ambitions, we try to transpose, a century later, the idea of ​​Ravel as an artistic director and how he would have programmed such an event, including avant-garde and electronic music. Our dearest wish is to make the festival a place of creative exchanges and encounters, in the truest Ravelian sense.”

www.festivalravel.frbox office 


• AUGUST 20: The grand opening parade and its giant puppets
• AUGUST 20: 100 years of Iannis Xenakis by Le Trio and Collectif Xenakis (percussion)
• AUGUST 25: Glagolitic Mass by Janacek performed by the OrchestraCzech Philharmonic conducted by Semyon Bychkov
• SEPTEMBER 2: Scheherazade by Ravel by the Orchester National Bordeaux-Aquitaine and Patricia Petibon, conducted by Ariane Matiakh
• SEPTEMBER 3 and 4: Olivier Messiaen weekend (30 years since his death)September 3: Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Bertrand ChamayouConference on Olivier Messiaen by Bruno MessinaSeptember 4: From the Canyons to the Stars… by the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine conducted by Jean-François Heisser
• SEPTEMBER 5: Daphnis and Chloe by Ravel performed by Les Siècles and the Landarbaso Abesbatza choir conducted by François-Xavier Roth
• SEPTEMBER 7: La Tempête vocal and instrumental company under the direction of Simon-Pierre Bestion performs an “Imaginary Requiem” for Charles V, whose castle was in Hondarribia.
• SEPTEMBER 9: 100th anniversary of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition orchestrated by Ravel – Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse conducted by a conductor on the rise, Tarmo Peltokoski

  • CONFERENCES : August 19 (Iannis Xenakis), August 24 (Eduardo Chillida), August 30 (Claude Helffer), September 3 (Messiaen), September 7 (Charles Quint) 

SOLOISTS & CHAMBER MUSICIANS (in alphabetical order)

Quatuor Adorno, Riana Anthony, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Quatuor Belcea, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Renaud Capuçon, David Chalmin, Bertrand Chamayou, Lluis Claret, Marc Coppey, Emmanuel Coppey, Miguel da Silva, Karine Deshayes, Pierre Fouchenneret, Sol Gabetta, Thibaut Garcia, Philippe Graffin, Jean-François Heisser, Amia Janicki, Philippe Jaroussky, Marie-Josèphe Jude, Ori Kam, Katia et Marielle Labèque, François Lazarevitch, James McVinnie, Quatuor Modigliani, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Patricia Petibon, Alain Planès, Tatiana Samouil, Jean Sulem.

ORCHESTRAS, CHOIRS & CONDUCTORS(in chronological order)

Trio & collectif Xenakis

Les Métaboles Ensemble

Quatuor Nevermind

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Orfeon Donostiarra conducted by Semyon Bychkov

Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne conducted by Renaud Capuçon

Chœur du Concert Spirituel conducted by Hervé Niquet

Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and Choir of the Opéra de Bordeaux conducted by Ariane Matiakh

Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle-Aquitaine conducted by Jean-François Heisser

Orchestre Les Siècles et Chœur Landarbasso Abesbatza conducted by François-Xavier Roth

Vocal and instrumental ensemble La Tempête conducted by Simon-Pierre Bestion

Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse conducted by Tarmo Peltokoski