Hervé Niquet

French conductor, harpsichordist, tenor (Abbeville, 1957 - )

As a harpsichordist, organist, pianist, vocalist, tenor, composer as well choir and orchestra conductor, Hervé Niquet is a prominent expert of the French repertoire, most specifically of the French Baroque repertoire.

Appointed as the choirmaster of the Opéra National de Paris in 1980, Hervé Niquet worked alongside Rudolf Noureev and Serge Lifar. First a member of ensemble Les Arts Florissants between 1985 and 1986, he founded ensemble Le Concert Spirituel in 1987 playing on ancient instruments to revive the great French repertoire performed in Versailles. In close collaboration with the Centre of Baroque Music Versailles, Niquet also contributed to the rediscovery of ancient musicians from the 17th and 18th centuries, such as Jean Gilles, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and André Campra.

A great advocate of French music, he defended this repertoire at the head of prestigious orchestras, among which the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin, the Sinfonia Varsovia, Rias Kammerchor and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He also worked with many directors. Caring to pass on his work, he also devoted himself to educational activities carried out with young musicians. In 2011, he became chief conductor of the Flemish Radio Choir and principal guest conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic. Involved in the creation of the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice, he participated to the recording of unpublished or little-known works.

He has conducted many instrumental works, including “Fireworks” and “Water Music” by George Friedrich Handel, which earned him an Edison Award in 2004.

6 landmark dates in the life of Hervé Niquet:

1980: Choirmaster of Opéra National de Paris

1985 – 1986: Member of Les Arts Florissants as a tenor

1987: Director of Le Concert Spirituel

2004: His recording of Fireworks & Water Music by Handel received an Edison Award.

2006: Conducted the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paul et Virginie, a music drama by Jean-François Lesueur

2011: Appointed music director of the Flemish Radio Choir

Biography from Radio France’s document database, November 2013