Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

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

Leader - Peter Hanson

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 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, and is particularly noted for its interpretations of works by Berlioz.

In May 2024 the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique 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. Their performances will also feature Beethoven’s Mass in C major and the Overture from The Creatures of Prometheus. The Monteverdi Choir will join the ORR for performances of Beethoven’s Mass in C major and Symphony No. 9 alongside soloists Lucy Crowe (soprano), Alice Coote (mezzo soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor) and William Thomas (bass). The Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique’s recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies have been described as a “tour de force… played at white heat”, “glorious” and “magnificent” by Gramophone magazine.

In the summer of 2023 the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, 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 ORR gave the first complete staged performances in Paris of Berlioz’s Les Troyens in 2003.

In the summer of 2022 the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique performed Beethoven’s last masterpiece, Missa solemnis, to critical acclaim at three of Europe’s most prestigious festivals: Berliner Festspiele, BBC Proms and Wratislavia Cantans.

In 2021 the ORR returned to live performing with a concert at Festival Berlioz in the summer, as well as performances of Berlioz’s sacred oratorio L’enfance du Christ with the Monteverdi Choir. This included a critically acclaimed concert at its new London home, St Martin-in-the-Fields, in December.

The 2019/20 season marked 30 years since the founding of the ORR, 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.

In 2015 the ORR turned to the music of Berlioz for a five-year exploration of the composer’s large-scale works, performing Roméo et Juliette, La damnation de Faust, Symphonie fantastique, Harold en Italie and Lélio across Europe and the United Sates. The project featured five consecutive appearances at London’s BBC Proms, a highlight of which was performing excerpts of Les Troyens alongside star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. The celebrations culminated in 2019, marking the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death with the first contemporary performances of his opera Benvenuto Cellini on period instruments. The orchestra was joined by the Monteverdi Choir and a cast of international soloists for a series of critically acclaimed staged concerts of the opera at the BBC Proms, Berliner Festspiele, Festival Berlioz and Château de Versailles.

The ORR is under the patronage of HM King Charles III.

​Berlioz Symphonie fantastique excerpt - Versailles 2018

​ORR Horns with Anneke Scott

​The Ophicleide with Marc Girardot

​Beethoven - Symphony No. 5, 2015