Olivier Cuendet, concert and opera conductor, improviser and painter, investigates and develops the connections between interpretation and creativity.
Following organ and conducting studies in Switzerland, Olivier Cuendet continued to improve his art in Italy and the USA with such masters as Igor Markevitch, Franco Ferrara, Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Kubelik and Leonard Bernstein.
He made his début at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 1980 conducting Giselle with Rudolf Nureyev and has continued over the years to conduct ballets and operas in France, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and Switzerland, in a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to contemporary music.
Since winning a first prize at the N. Malko conducting contest in 1983 in Copenhagen, he is regularly invited to conduct throughout Europe. From 1992 up to 1995 he was the Artistic Director and Main Conductor of the " Västeras Sinfonietta " Orchestra in Sweden, and then of the Caen Orchestra in France from 1995 up to 1998. He has worked with many soloists, including Maria-Joao Pir ès, James Bowmann, Thomas Zehetmaier and Uri Caine.
His repertoire is vast, spanning from the baroque to the contemporary period, including the classical and romantic periods, as well as works from the 20th century. He has premiered a number of pieces by composers such as Gyorgy Kurt ág, Franco Donatoni, Olga Neuwirth, Pascal Dusapin or Heinz Holliger. He has also composed several ensemble pieces.
Since his debut at Diaghilev Festival in 2011, Olivier Cuendet is regularly invited by Teodor Currentzis to conduct MusicAeterna Choir and Orchestra at the Perm Opera (Russia).
On the demand of the Ungarian composer György Kurtág, Cuendet has done the orchestration and arrangement of the string quartet Zwiegespräch (written with his son G.Kurtág jr), which will be published by Editio Musica Budapest. He is preparing other orchestration of Works by Kurtág and other composers.
With the baBel ensemBle, which he created in 2006, Olivier Cuendet explores a kaleidoscope of repertoires through transcriptions, collages and improvisations. Numerous tours from South Africa to Island, and from USA to Russia. In 2012, performing in one year one hundred projects around the Centenary of John Cage’s Birthday.
As an artist, painting represents a complement and a natural extension to his desire to explore the connections between interpretation and creativity.
Main orchestras conducted by Olivier Cuendet :Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio-France, Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice (France), Symphonic Orchestra of the Austrian Radio, Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Euskadi Orchestra (San Sebastian, Spain), Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sweden), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway), Orchestra of the Swedish Radio, Mexico-City Philharmonic Orchestra (Mexico), Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa (Portugal), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Basel Sinfonieorchester, Kammerorchester Basel, Basel Sinfonietta, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Berner Symphonieorchester, Orchestre de la Suisse Italienne, Orchestra Nova Russia (Moscou), MusicAeterna (Perm, Russie)…
Main ensembles :Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris), Klangforum Wien (Vienna), Ensemble Contrechamps (Geneva), Ensemble 2E 2M (Paris), Ensemble L'Itinéraire (Paris), Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles (Belgium), Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (Moscow), Musik Fabrik (Köln), Neuw Ensemble (Amsterdam), Avanti! Ensemble (Helsinki)...
Main Festivals :Festival of Tanglewood (USA), Juni Festwochen Zürich (Switzerland), Quincena musical de San Sebastian (Spain), Musikfestwochen Luzern (Switzerland), Festival Extasis (Geneva, Switzerland), Festival Archipel in Geneva (Switzerland), Basel Musikforum (Switzerland), Primo di Trieste (Italy), Steirischer Herbst in Graz (Austria), Festival Wien modern (Austria), ArsMusica in Brussels (Belgium), Festival Why not in Dijon (France), Festival Manca in Nice (France), Moscow Autumn Festival (Russia), World Music Days in 1998 in Stockholm (Sweden) and in 2004 in Lugano (Switzerland), Chiasso Jazz Festival in 2007, Novara Jazz Festival, Diaghilev Festival (Perm)...
Discography :Ernst Levy : 15th Symphony, Basel Sinfonieorchester ; Record Bärenreiter (1983)
Jiri Benda : Medea, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne ; Accord (1993)
Olga Neuwirth : Lonicera Caprifolium, Ensemble Klangforum Wien, ORF (1993)
Eric Gaudibert : Oboe-Concerto, Orchestre des Rencontres musicales, Lausanne (1996)