Thomas Dunford, Artistic Director
“A man with a lot of common sense, despite his youthful years, Thomas Dunford
gathered together a team of some of the finest musicians of his
generation… Brace yourselves for some exquisitely dizzy spells,
at the hand of Jupiter.” (Erik Orsenna, author)
Founded in 2018 by lutenist Thomas Dunford, Jupiter Ensemble was born from the meeting and friendship between Mr. Dunford and young, brilliant musicians of his generation: Lea Desandre, Jean Rondeau, Douglas Balliett, Bruno Philippe, Sophie Gent, Thibaut Garcia, and Peter Whelan. The great freedom, energy, listening and improvisation skills of each individual musician allow them to perform with passion, strength, and emotion as a virtuoso ensemble. Their mastery is on display in all genres from Vivaldi to Joaquin Rodrigo, through Handel, Destouches, Couperin, Mancini or original compositions by Thomas Dunford and Douglas Balliett.
Jupiter Ensemble's first disc, released in autumn 2019 for the Alpha label, is dedicated to Vivaldi. Alternating extracts from operas and instrumental concerti, it highlights the different soloists of the ensemble. The multiple awards garnered for this recording confirm the success of this first project: Diamant Opéra Magazine, Caecillia prize awarded by Union of the Belgian Music Press, International Classical Music Awards (ICMA), and France Musique choice.
In September 2020, Jupiter Ensemble recorded its second album Amazone, a recital by Lea Desandre, for the Erato-Warner Classics label. Composed of arias from French and Italian operas, this new disc features works from the 17th and 18th centuries. This program, built in collaboration with musicologist Yannis François, gives pride of place to unjustly forgotten pieces, some of which have never been played since their creation.
Highlights from the 2020-2021 season include performances at Berlin Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, La Chaux de Fonds, Festival de Pâques d’Aix-en-Provence, Köln Philharmonic, Rouen Opera, and the Salle Gaveau in Paris.
Jupiter Ensemble is sponsored by La Caisse des Dépôts, its principal patron, and is in residence at the Singer-Polignac Foundation. Jupiter Ensemble is a member of FÉVIS and PROFEDIM.