Jacques Mercier

French conductor (Metz, 1945 - )

Jacques Mercier is a French conductor, advocate of the 19th and 20th century French repertoire.

Son of pianist and composer Marcel Mercier, he joined the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris after training in percussion in Metz Conservatoire. In 1970, he received the First Prize for Percussion followed by another First Prize for conducting in 1972. Winner of the Albert Roussel and Albert Wolff awards, he was appointed in 1973 professor at the Conservatoire de Paris.

From 1976 to 1982 he was the associate conductor of the Lorraine Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted numbers of symphonic ensembles in Europe and Asia as well as several contemporary music ensembles, notably the Pierre Boulez’ Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Appointed associate conductor of the Ile de France Orchestra in 1982, he then became artistic director and permanent head of this formation by 1988. As Turku Philharmonic conductor, he was involved in the promotion of Sibelius in France, leading the French premiere of the Kullervo Symphonie in 1994 and Lemminkainen in 1996. He has been director of the National Orchestra of Lorraine since 2002.

5 landmark dates in the life of Jacques Mercier:

1972: First prize at the Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon
1990: Appointed resident conductor the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
1995: Named Musical Personality of the Year
1995: Special tribute to the Victoires de la Musique Classique
2002: Took the musical direction of the National Orchestra of Lorraine

Biography from Radio France’s Musical Documentation, September 2013