Arie van Beek


Orphée in Lausanne

Though devoting most of his time to symphonic repertoire, Arie van Beek is always delighted to conduct opera-productions too! Some years ago, the Opéra de Lausanne entrusted him with the world-premiere of Le Petit Prince by Michaël Levinas, followed by a standard of the repertory, My Fair Lady by Frederick Loewe. More recently, he premiered Guillaume Connesson's first opera, Les bains macabres, at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris.

Arie will shortly be returning to the capital of the Swiss canton Vaud in order to conduct Jacques Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers for the festive season at the change of the years!

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A Commandeur for a recorded triptych!

Having been ranked Commandeur de l´Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Commander within the Order of Art and Literature of France) just a few weeks ago, he is only the fourth Dutch artist ever to be honored by the French Republic this way! A well-deserved tribute to Arie van Beek who decided to settle down in France 30 years ago in order to contribute significantly to the spread of classical music within his adopted country. He conducts the approximately 15 orchestras that he joins as a regular guest conductor with carefully compiled concert programs being highly attractive for both the orchestra-members and the audience.

Arie van Beek has however been particularly committed to two orchestras as their musical and artistic director for cooperation periods of outstanding length: The Orchestre national d’Auvergne (17 years) and the Orchestre de Picardie (12 years). As final coronation of his third and last mandate with the Orchestre de Picardie he recorded a three-part-release which perfectly summarises his artistic identity: A fully enthusiastic, always curious musician, relentlessly searching for the right program-balance between well-known pieces, discoveries and rediscoveries as well as new music. Thus the “triptych” includes a. o. Johannes Brahms’ piano-quintet in f-minor, superbly orchestrated by Henk de Vlieger and thus fulfilling Clara Schumann’s wish, who has heard an orchestra in this music (originally a piano-sonata) almost 200 years ago. Furthermore – for the everlasting honor of the French music – Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy and Le tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel as well as The Sound of Trees, a world premiere by the female French composer Camille Pépin. Enough said: we better listen to this wonderful 3-CD-set published by the label NoMadMusic last year!


8th season with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève

The programme to be played within the first evening-concert of Arie van Beek’s 8th season as Artistic and Musical Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève reflects perfectly the spirit of its creator, Arie van Beek himself. It is entirely adjusted to orchestra, location and audience, concurrently inventive, well-balanced and full of artistic vigour. In short a programme which enjoys everyone! Here are the details: Symphony Nr. 34 KV 338 by Mozart, Variations for piano and orchestra on „Là ci darem la mano“ op. 2 by Chopin (soloist: Nathalia Milstein), the Sinfonietta op. 1 by Britten as well as the ballet Les Sylphides based on piano-pieces by Chopin in a later orchestration by Benjamin Britten.

This opening-concert of the season will take place on September 29th at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva.

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Appointment with Mr Bizet at the Paris Philharmony

Arie van Beek enjoys contrast and diversion as a conductor. For example he loves the juxtaposition of music from the Vienna classic (Haydn, Mozart) with contemporary pieces ... which always works out fine! Being any time eager to acquire music by living composers, he conducted, among others, world-premieres of music by Kaija Saariaho und Guillaume Connesson. Hence Les bains macabres, Connesson’s first opera ever, was entrusted to him for the world-premieres in Compiègne and Paris a few days ago. Enthusiastic audience, eulogistic reviews! Some press-cuts referring to this event: “Arie van Beek’s unrelenting, but never callous conducting” (Forumopera) and “the masterly lead of the Dutch conductor” (classicagenda) present the “Frivolités Parisiennes as an orchestra in its absolute prime” (opera-online) and “convey topicality as well as entity of the stylistic variety within the score.” (Olyrix)

Arie van Beek’s next stage-project is Bizet´s The pearl fishers with his Orchestre de Picardie in concert version at the Paris Philharmony on March 3rd and at the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne on March 5th, 2020.

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World-premiere in Compiègne and Paris

There are more reasons than only one for rejoicing! First of all, Arie van Beek who is usually fully booked with symphony-concerts, is finally conducting opera again! And then this opera is nothing less than a world-premiere; even the first ever opera written by the French composer Guillaume Connesson who has meanwhile been highly acclaimed not only in France, but also internationally. The opera with the title Les Bains Macabres will be premiered on January 24, 2020 at the Théâtre Impérial in Compiègne, followed by a series of performances at the Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet in Paris as from January 31. The orchestra is Les Frivolités Parisiennes (Choir: Les Eléments) and the stage-director Florent Siaud.

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66 exclusively great programs!

For Arie van Beek the current season comprises no less than 66 concerts, from Amiens via Clermont-Ferrand to Paris, from Rotterdam via Geneva to Sofia, always characterized by an inexhaustible curiosity and a strong feeling for conceiving especially exciting and attractive programs, as for instance:

Amiens and Beauvais, November 11 and 12, 2016:
Peace-Concert with the Orchestre de Picardie celebrating the centennial of the Battle of the Somme
Mozart: Overture to The abduction from the seraglio
Stravinsky: Pulcinella
Ellin: One before zero (world-premiere)

Paris, January 13 and 14 janvier 2017
Concert with the Orchestre Colonne
Dvorák: Symphonie No 8
Connesson: Symphonic trilogy Flamenschrift
Tchaikovsky: Violin-concerto (with Paul Rouger)

Geneva, February 21, 2017
Concert with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève
Boulez: Pli selon Pli, portrait de Mallarmé (with Yeree Sur, soprano)
Berlioz: Cléopâtre (with Véronique Gens, Soprano)

Sofia, April 13, 2017
Concert with the Sofia Philharmonic
Haydn: Symphony No 30
Haendel: excerpts fromThe Messiah
Pärt: Symphony No 3
Rimsky-Korsakov: Overture Russian Easter

In fact each of his programs should be indicated here, as all of them are good and special!
Bravo Maestro! And many thanks to you for conveying music from the 18th century until today to us with so much inspiration and generosity!



Wherever Arie van Beek appears, he provides good mood, joy of life and artistic competence. The outcome of this for the musicians is joy of playing music together at the highest level. And because joy is contagious, it is conveyed to the audience right away. Arie van Beek’s essential recipe is very easy and always effective.

As coronation of an already busy and successful season with his two orchestras (Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Orchestre de Picardie), Arie van Beek is delightedly looking forward to his debut with the great orchestra of his home city, the amazing Rotterdam Philharmonic. The program includes some of his favorite composers: John Cage, Charles Ives und Karl Amadeus Hartman.

Concert on Friday, 27th May 2016 at Doelen Rotterdam.


World premiere of an opera by Michaël Levinas

Arie van Beek has always had a strong interest in today's composed music and has been the initiator of numerous world premieres. It is therefore not a coincidence that the Opéra de Lausanne, the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Opéra de Lille wished to entrust him to conduct Michaël Levinas' world premiere of Le Petit Prince.

"The theatrical myth of Le Petit Prince reaches a dimension almost up to Mozart. It expresses at once the marvellous, the grace but also the ultimate fragility and earnest in contemplation of the human and merciless reality: this is its paradoxical strength" (Michaël Levinas). Let us bet that Arie van Beek, together with his Orchestre de Chambre de Genève in Lausanne and Geneva as well as with his Orchestre de Picardie in Lille, will be able - with his known brio and in collaboration with the stage director Lilo Baur - to transmit the marvellous, the grace, fragility and earnest of the piece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, put into music by Michaël Levinas.  

Premiere at the Opéra de Lausanne on 5 November 2014

Premiere at the Opéra de Lille on 3 December 2014

Premiere at the Grand Théâtre de Genève at 6 January 2014  

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Season's start with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève

Arie van Beek, who has placed his first season as chief conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève under the motto "Orchestra identity and adventure through program diversity", shall conduct the season's opening on 24 September 2013 at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva with a program including Bartók's Three village scenes, Stravinsky's Pulcinella-Suite and Mozart's Thamos, König in Ägypten. His following appearances with the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève are planned on 5 December 2013, 27 February, 2 and 3 April and 6 May 2014.


New chief conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève

Arie van Beek will become the new chief conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève from September 2013 on.

After being for three years a regular guest with their orchestra, all musicians of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève got the convinction that Arie van Beek was the right person at the right place for the position of their new chief conductor. He will officially take over the position from David Greilsammer on September 2013.

Since January 2011 Arie van Beek has been chief conductor of the Orchestre de Picardie and will keep this position. He is also first guest conductor of the Orchestre d'Auvergne and permanent conductor of the DoelenEnsemble in Rotterdam where he was born. He also collaborates with Codarts, the Rotterdam Music Conservatory, where he is in charge with special projects as well as with the planning for orchestras and ensembles.