Stéphane Denève

The two faces of Francis Poulenc


  • Francis Poulenc Litanies à la Vierge Noire
  • Francis Poulenc Stabat Mater
  • Francis Poulenc Les biches

Stéphane Denève, the new permanent guest conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, is (also) a Poulenc specialist. He highlights both the joyful and the serious side of his compatriot.

The playful 1920s ballet Les biches
Clown and monk. These are the two faces of Francis Poulenc. The heir to a large pharmaceutical concern, he enjoyed a carefree childhood and received private education. As early as 1921, Poulenc was just 22 years old, Sergei Diaghilev asked him to provide a score for a ballet. The composer himself came up with the title: Les biches (The Darlings). An exuberant ballet without a story, laced with the necessary sexual connotations.

Poulenc as a choral composer
Poulenc underwent a profound change in 1936, when his close friend, the composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud, died horribly in a car accident. Poulenc visited the shrine of the Black Virgin of Rocamadour and began composing the Litanies à la Vierge noire that same evening. Spiritual works would play a leading role in his oeuvre from then on, the highlights being the Gloria and the Stabat Mater. Stéphane Denève is not only the RFO's new permanent guest conductor, he is also chief conductor of the American St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, where "our" Hans Vonk served until his retirement from the podium.

Saturday, October 21, 2023
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to the website
Stéphane Denève
View profile
Netherlands Radio Choir
Go to the website
Benjamin Goodson - Photo: Paolo Ferla
Benjamin Goodson
Choir conductor
View profile
Sarah Brady

Coming soon

Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Sunday Morning Concert

Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony

Stéphane Denève
Saturday, April 20, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

The French magic of Stéphane Denève

Bram van Sambeek
Thursday, April 25, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Dima Slobodeniouk: Dvořák's Seventh

Sunday, April 28, 2024
The Sunday Morning Concert

Dvořák's 7th symphony and Rossini's Bassoon Concerto

Hannes Minnaar
Saturday, May 11, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Canellakis, Minnaar, Shostakovich and De Graaff

12 May 2024

Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Karina Canellakis at Wiener Musikverein – Beethoven and Shostakovich

Noa Wildschut
Friday, May 17, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Petrenko and Wildschut play Tchaikovsky & Sheherezade

Sunday, May 19, 2024
The Sunday Morning Concert

Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade and Tchaikovsky with Noa Wildschut

Markus Stenz
Saturday, June 1, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Unsuk Chin: Alice in Wonderland

Karina Canellakis
Friday, June 14, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Final concert: La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz

Follow us on social media