Emmanuel Leducq-Barome


See Recordings →
The steady rise to prominence of the conductor Emmanuel Leducq-Barome has shown the qualities of this exceptionally-gifted musician to a remarkable degree. He studied in his native France at the Conservatoire de Lyon, and later at the Geneva Conservatoire in Switzerland, before he was admitted, at the age of 21, into the class of conductor Mariss Jansons at the St Petersburg Conservatory. Emmanuel concluded his studies there under the legendary pedagogue Ilya Musin, mentor of generations of conductors, including Rudolf Barshai, Valery Gergiev, Semyon Bychkov and Yuri Temirkanov.

Since 1997, Emmanuel has held the post of principal conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kaliningrad, where his growing reputation in Russia has led him to direct the country's leading orchestras, including the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Russian National State Orchestra, the Academy of St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and many others, as well as appearing regularly at a number of Russia's major Opera Houses. Emmanuel's debut with the St Petersburg Philharmonic arose through a special invitation from Maestro Yuri Temirkanov, since when Emmanuel has become a regular guest conductor of this great international orchestra.

In September 2000 Emmanuel became the founding musical director of the Baltic Chamber Orchestra (formed by the principal string players of the St Petersburg Philharmonic), with whom he has since made a number of greatly admired recordings as well as giving several tours with the BCO across Europe.

His steadily growing reputation in Russia and the Baltic countries has seen Emmanuel being invited to participate in numerous European summer music festivals – most notably in France, Sweden, Germany and Poland, where he has worked with such soloists as Natalia Gutman, Sergey Khachatryan, Pierre Amoyal, Yakov Kasman, Deni Matsuev, Regis Pasquier, Arto Noras, Ilya Yakushev, Andrei Korobeinikov, Alena Baeva, Denis Masleev and many others.

Particularly in France, Emmanuel has regularly conducted many of his native country's most significant orchestras, such as the Orchestre National du Capitole de Tolouse, the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, the Orchestras of Cannes, Bretagne, Picardie, the Lorraine Philharmonic and recently, L'Orchestre de Bordeaux-Aquitaine.

His recent operatic appearances in Russia have included productions of Carmen, Pique Dame and Iolanta where his growing reputation in the Opera House led to Emmanuel being chosen to conduct the season-opening concert at the Rio de Janeiro Opera as a replacement for Maestro Kurt Masur. Such was the success of this appearance that in of June the same year he made his USA debut at the prestigious Round Top Festival in Texas. Between 2014-2017, Emmanuel was Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Saratov Philharmonic, since when Emmanuel Leducq-Barome he was invited by Maestro Valery Gergiev to make his conducting debut at the Mariinsky Theater in the 2018/2019 season.
Emmanuel Leducq-Barome conductingEmmanuel Leducq-Barome conducting
Editor's choice, Gramophone Awards Issue, October 2017 ...

"Rarely have I been as moved by Strauss's 'Study for 23 solo strings' ... as I was when listening to this richly-textured recording by the Baltic Chamber Orchestra. Although the chosen tempos are comparatively broad, Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme keeps you on edge of your seat, principally by achieving maximum tension at the crest of each phrase ... Again the playing suggests maximum commitment."
“... the work receives a magnificent performance under this most gifted of conductors ...”
- Musical Opinion, founded in 1877 (London)
emmanuel leducq-barome newsletter
Newsletter Download


"This is the first time I have heard this conductor's work, and I very much hope it will not be the last."

"Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme and the fine Baltic Chamber Orchestra deliver the most compelling account of this score I have heard."

"... conductor and orchestra combine to give another outstandingly compelling performance, growing in intensity and emotional strength, the committed nature of which, throughout, places the music on an altogether higher level of accomplishment than many previous conductors have achieved."

-Robert Matthew-Walker, Classical Source, October 2019
"Absorbing, passionately engaged playing from full strings."

"In short, it’s the closest any recent exponents have come to rivalling the classic 1969 Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic account, and more vividly recorded too."

-Matthew Rye, The STRAD, October 2019
"The concluding bars of the Honegger, with the Bach-like chorale melody intoned defiantly by the trumpet and first violins, sound particularly thrilling in this performance which packs a mighty punch in the earlier disorientating and frenzied energy of the Finale ... some very adept playing"

-Erik Levi - BBC Music Magazine, September 2019
"... it's actually the beauteous luminosity of the sound - particularly towards the end - that affects the most and gets to the heart of the poetry."

"... Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme finds a special atmosphere in the slow middle movement."

-Andrew Mellor, gramophone.co.uk
"A terrific CD by an orchestra I thought I'd not heard of. It turns out that the Baltic Chamber Orchestra are a subgroup of the St Petersburg Philharmonic. This goes a long way toward explaining why, as listening to this, I kept noting how well they play. Strength and virtuosity are there in spades, add to that a lot of passion and what have you got? A brilliant chamber orchestra. The conductor too was a new name to me. Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme is student of Mariss Jansons, among others, and has been leading a successful career in Russia. Whilst admitting that an orchestra of this quality could probably play well without a conductor one detects the presence of a guiding hand in these two urgent and powerful performances. I can confidently suggest that even if you have other recordings of both these masterpieces you still ought to hear this one."

-Dave Billinge, MusicWeb International
Barôme/Baltic CO: Shostakovich, Strauss CD review – Musical Mournings for the Ruin of War
Two of the 20th century's most eloquent musical responses to war are paired here: Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony - AKA his String Quartet No 8 as arranged for string orchestra by Rudolf Barshai - and Strauss's Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings. The orchestra, made up of front-rank players from the St Petersburg Philharmonic, is immediately convincing in the Shostakovich, with a lonely, otherworldly violin solo to set the scene at the very beginning, and plenty of bite later on under Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme's driven conducting. Shostakovich vividly portrays war's devastating impact on a personal level; Strauss, with the burnt-out ruin of the Dresden Opera House in his mind's eye, was grieving for a whole culture. The players sound a notch less securely blended in his work but the performance glows once it gets going and ultimately achieves a compelling intensity, especially when its theme piles up upon itself towards the end.

-Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 24 August 2017
Created by Emmanuel Leducq-Barome, the Baltic Chamber Orchestra has in a short time risen to the highest level of chamber ensembles. Here he keeps the promise of his previous album devoted to Beethoven. The establishment and the overall balance of the ensemble are exemplary and the qualities as well as the power of each desk are striking. Leading the ensemble, Emmanuel Leducq-Barome gratifies us with a just and very elegant performance.

-Jeremie Szpirglas, Le Monde de la Musique, May 2008
The soloists of the St Petersburg Philharmonic, here playing as the Baltic Chamber Orchestra, find the suitable sound and do not overstep the role assigned to them by the lod master from Bonn. The balaced yet commited conducting of the young french maestro Emmanuel Leducq-Barome was perfectly chosen to make the orchestra sound coherent and true.

-Jean-Luc Caron, Resmusica, January 2007
The balance, the flexibility and the clarity of plans, a just choice of tempos, a good rhythmic stability, the clarity and continuity of discourse of Emmanuel Leducq-Barome and the Baltic Chamber Orchestra are part of a chamber music conception where mysterious intensity is not erased for the benefit of external facts.

-Patrick Szersnovicz, Le Monde de la Musique, May 2004
(...) The young conductor Emmanuel Leducq-Barome delivers a compact performance of Honegger's Symphony: clear, rigorous, with an enormous capacity for emotional penetration. (...) A wonderful disc, the best option for these two works in the current cataloges.

-José Feito Benedicto, Cd Compact (Spain), June 2003
The pairing of Arthur Honegger's Second Symphony (for strings and trumpet) and Richard Strauss's densely beautiful Metamorphosis for strings is a common one. Apart from the obvious similarities in scoring, both are laden with heavy sentiment and gut-vrenching emotion. The Baltic Chamber Orchestra – set up several years ago with front desk players from the St Petersburg Philharmonic – capture, under Emmanuel Leducq-Barome, the hardedged qualities of Honegger's wartime protest as effectively as they bask in the luscious, lamenting sonorities of the Strauss. There's a slight roughness and hint of risk in their playing that are both exciting and alluring.

-Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman (UK), April 2003
(...) How has a young (b.1971) French conductor mastered Shostakovitch's high-strung, emotionally extreme sound-world so completely? However he has done it, the results are thoroughly spectacular and engrossing. Turovsky's and Barshai's recording notwithstanding, Leducq-Barome's may very well be the greatest performance of op.110a I've ever heard. From the broodind blackness of the opening Largo to the pinpoint precision of the deranged fury in 11 and the maniacal Totentanz of 111, and the empty Mahlerian desolation of the finale, this is an interpretation that brings the horrors of Shostakovitch's world into stark, soulchilling relief. This performance truly elevates this work to an equal footing with the great symphonies.

-American Record Guide (USA), November-December 2000
(...) The Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra plays with characterful incision and animal magnitude that upstages more polished competitors on disc. Emmanuel Leducq-Barome embraces Schnittke's confrontational idiom with open arms, and makes every bloody note count. A powerful disc all around.

-Jed Distler, Classics Today (USA), September 2000
(...) The commitment of the performers is total, as in that other race to the abyss that the Chamber Symphony is. In the three works recorded here, the performance of the young French conductor Emmanuel Leducq-Barome seems superior to that of most of his more prestigious competitors. (...) A disc that cannot be ignored.

-Bertrand Dermoncourt, Classica, May 2000
'Choc du Monde de la Musique'
(...) The surprise comes mostly from the young French conductor Emmanuel Leducq-Barome, who studied in Russia and extols the almost acrobatic virtuosity of the work. He also successfully carries out the interpretation, remarkably close to the spirit of the original, of the Chamber Symphony. (...) Leducq-Barome does not neglect any detail of Schnittke's concerto, violent and fiercely expressionistic until suffocation.

-Pablo Galonce, Le Monde de la Musique, September 2000