The ensemble Les Arts Florissants was founded in 1979. Its name comes from an opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Since their inception, the harpsichordist and conductor William Christie has been Artistic Director; he is assisted by Paul Agnew as musical co-director. The ensemble has unearthed numerous forgotten works from the archives and brought them back into the repertoire: not only compositions from France’s Grand Siècle, but also more generally European music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Since their operatic debut with Lully’s Atys, which took place at the Opéra Comique in Paris in 1987, Les Arts Florissants have devoted themselves intensively to works for the stage. They perform around 100 times each season, mainly at the Philharmonie in Paris, where they are ensemble-in-residence, but also at the Théâtre de Caen, the Opéra Comique in Paris, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and the Palace of Versailles; they also give regular guest performances in New York, London, Edinburgh, Brussels, Vienna, Salzburg, Madrid, and Barcelona. Since 2012, the ensemble has been presenting the festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie. It trains highly talented young musicians through the vocal academy Le Jardin des Voix and the Arts Flo Juniors program. Les Arts Florissants is supported by the French State, the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles, the Département de la Vendée, and the Région Pays de la Loire. The Selz Foundation is their Principal Sponsor, and Aline Foriel-Destezet and the American Friends of Les Arts Florissants are promoting the ensemble as Main Sponsors.

Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut on 27 August 1996 in works by Sigismondo d’India and Claudio Monteverdi conducted by William Christie.

July 2023