Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), founded in 1989 by John Eliot Gardiner, strives to provide bold new perspectives on the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries through its stylistic fidelity and intensity of expression.

Since its inception the ORR has won plaudits for its interpretations of major early Romantic composers, from Berlioz to Beethoven, as well as later works by composers ranging from Verdi to Debussy.

Major projects have included Beethoven symphony cycles, Schumann Revealed and Brahms: Root and Memories, in which the ensemble recorded the complete symphonies of each respective composer. Additionally, the ORR has performed operas by composers including Weber (Oberon and Le Freyschütz), Bizet (Carmen), Chabrier (L’Etoile), Verdi (Falstaff) and Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande) in new productions in France, Italy and London.

The ORR gave the first complete staged performances in Paris of Berlioz’s Les Troyens in 2003, and in 2019 marked the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death with the first contemporary performances of his opera Benvenuto Cellini on period instruments. In the summer of 2023 the ORR, with the Monteverdi Choir and outstanding soloists conducted by Dinis Sousa, performed Berlioz’s Les Troyens on a critically acclaimed European tour. Their performance at the BBC Proms received five-star reviews from the Financial Times, The Times, The Observer, Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, The Arts Desk and Bachtrack.

The 2019/20 season marked 30 years since the founding of the ORR by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, as well as the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. In celebration of these twin milestones, the orchestra embarked on another momentous project, performing a cycle of all nine of the composer’s symphonies in residencies across Europe and the United States.

The London performances were postponed by the pandemic, but in May 2024 the ORR, conducted by Dinis Sousa, will perform Beethoven’s complete symphonies at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and a selection of his symphonies at the Philharmonie de Paris. In its 60th-anniversary year, the Monteverdi Choir will join the ORR for performances of Beethoven’s Mass in C major and Symphony No. 9. The ORR’s recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies have been described as a “tour de force… played at white heat”, “glorious” and “magnificent” by Gramophone magazine.

"Performances of radiant intensity and commitment...with an electric crackle of excitement tempered by virtuosic swagger and – not least – infectious fun." – The Arts Desk ★★★★★

"Extraordinary attention to detail…delivered by an orchestra of astonishing collective virtuosity." – Bachtrack ★★★★★

Patron: HM The King

​Berlioz Symphonie fantastique excerpt - Versailles 2018

​ORR Horns with Anneke Scott

​The Ophicleide with Marc Girardot

​Beethoven - Symphony No. 5, 2015