“I’m obsessed with music – and rather stubborn. When I absolutely want something, then sometime I have to have it.” Although Emmanuelle Haïm first studied piano, organ and harpsichord, she resolutely pursued her childhood dream of becoming a conductor with “subjects like composition, harmony, counterpoint, music history and improvisation” (Haïm). As William Christie’s musical assistant, ensemble conducting finally came to the fore: “I simply understood that it was time to grow up and do what I’d already wanted to do when I was a child.”
What followed was a dream start when Emmanuelle Haïm assisted Sir Simon Rattle, whom she got to know in 1999 at the Salzburg Festival: “I played harpsichord and accompanied the piano rehearsals. … He was such an unbelievable conductor who got so much out of the people there – in his tremendously charismatic way. There was nothing at all brutal about his authority. I liked that very much. Also, he had a refreshingly new approach to early music. … After that it was clear to me: that’s how I have to do it, just like that.” Today Emmanuelle Haïm is considered one of the most interesting artist personalities on the early music scene –not for nothing is she called “Ms Dynamite of French Baroque” in Great Britain.
Jointly with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, she will devote herself to works by Henry Purcell, Marin Marais and Georg Friedrich Händel. Also represented on this evening: works by Jean-Marie Leclair, whose contemporaries admired him as “France’s Corelli”: through him virtuoso violin playing found its way into compositional practice in his home country.