Hervé Niquet, chief conductor of the Flemish Radio Choir as of 2011, is a passionate musician like most of the composers of Baroque music whose works he enjoys. He studied not only harpsichord, piano and organ, but also the lyric arts and conducting. He considers the musical profession from a researcher’s perspective, and thus gives priority to primary sources in order to move beyond established conventions and customs. The experience he garnered from working with several major Baroque ensembles laid the basis for his special connection with the French ‘Grand Motet’ of the 17th and 18th centuries.
His great desire to bring new life to this unknown repertoire resulted in 1987 in the establishment of Le Concert Spirituel. Over twenty years, this ensemble has become the reference point for Baroque music.
In the same spirit, and starting from the principle that over the centuries there has been only one ‘French music’, Hervé Niquet conducts various eminent orchestras, including the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Sinfonia Varsovia, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Rias Kammerchor, the Kammerorchester Basel, and Brussels Philharmonic.
In 2009, he participated in the foundation of the Centre de musique romantique française, also known as Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice. This led, among other things, to a prestigious project in collaboration with the Brussels Philharmonic and with the Flemish Radio Choir: a CD collection with music from the Prix de Rome and rarely performed works from the French Romantic repertoire. The first CD of the series is devoted to Debussy (2009), the second volume consists of neglected works by Saint-Saëns (2010), the third disc features the work of Charpentier (2011) and the fourth volume (2012) is dedicated to d’Ollone. In the meantime, new series have been launched featuring portraits of composers and French opera (Joncières’ Dmitri and David’s Herculanum).
Hervé Niquet has been made Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite and an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.