After more than forty years at the head of Orchestre National de Lille, which he created in 1976, Jean-Claude Casadesus, who remains the founding director, continues to appear in three series per season all while pursuing his international career. He remains artistic director of the Lille Piano(s) Festival.
The orchestra, under his direction, has travelled the world (32 countries on 4 continents – USA, Latin America, Africa, Russia, China and Kazakhstan) and has conducted an exemplary policy of spreading and raising awareness among children and audiences who do not have access to music.
Ardent defender of contemporary music, (he studied orchestral conducting with Pierre Boulez), he has set up residencies for composers also chairing the association Musique Nouvelle en Liberté since 2001.
His discographies of over thirty CDs with Orchestre National de Lille was unanimously hailed by the public and critics. His latest recordings Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss and Symphony No. 2 by Mahler received an enthusiastic reception. They are followed by Mahler’s Das Lied von der
Erde and a CD dedicated to Henri Dutilleux, including Les Métaboles.
As guest conductor, he has played on major international stages – Moscow, Singapore, Montreal, Baltimore, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, Philadelphia, Monte Carlo and Berlin. Before participating, alongside a great master Pierre Dervaux, in the creation of Orchestre des Pays de la Loire of which he was assistant director, he was engaged at the beginning of his career as musical director of Châtelet in Paris before being appointed principal conductor at the Opéra de Paris and the Opéra-Comique. His taste for opera led him to direct important lyrical productions such as the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, in Orange, Paris, Trieste, Monte Carlo, the Opera Flandres and of course the Opera de Lille.
He has written two books, Le plus court chemin d’un cœur à un autre published by Stock in 1997 and La partition d’une vie published in 2012 by Éditions Écriture.
Jean-Claude Casadesus has received numerous awards.
This season, besides Lille, he has led Orchestre National de France, the Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Saint Petersburg, Bordeaux, the New Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra for two concerts in Tokyo and two in Hiroshima, then onto Germany, Latvia and the Novosibirsk Festival.