Michel Plasson

Biography

Born: October 2, 1933; Paris, France  
Michel Plasson is one of the most important French conductors from the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He is well known for his interpretations of French opera, particularly those of Gounod and Massenet. He has also received praise for his work in the choral music of Duruflé and Fauré, and the orchestral works of Magnard, Ravel, and other French composers. He has not, however, limited himself to the French repertory, having Read more conducted (and recorded) the Rachmaninov piano concertos with soloist Jean-Philippe Collard, the Brahms Schicksalslied, and works by Wagner and Verdi.

Plasson was born into a family of musicians. He showed unusual talent on piano as a child and took lessons from Lazare Lévy. He later enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied composition and percussion. In 1962, he received first prize in conducting at Besançon, then, at the suggestion of Charles Münch, traveled to the United States to study conducting for the next several years with Erich Leinsdorf, Pierre Monteux, and Leopold Stokowski.

Plasson's first major appointment came in 1966 when he was engaged to become musical director at Metz, a post he held for two years. In 1968, he accepted the dual conducting assignments of director of the orchestra and of the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse. In 1974, Plasson initiated a refurbishing effort on the Halle aux Grains, increasing its seating capacity to 3,000; upon completion of the project in 1977, he moved his orchestral operations there. Fidelio was the first important opera he conducted in the new hall. In 1979, he debuted at Covent Garden to critical acclaim and by the early 1980s had developed a concert schedule laden with so many guest appearances that in 1983 he had to resign his post as director of the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, although he retained the orchestral directorship there. This move in no way signaled a reduced focus on opera by Plasson: in 1985, for example, he performed Puccini's Turandot to great acclaim and the following year, the Verdi Requiem, which he went on to record for EMI with his Toulouse ensemble and a quartet of soloists led by Julia Varady. In 1987, Plasson took on another conducting post, that of principal guest conductor of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. Then in 1994, he accepted the position as music director of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, which he concurrently held with his music directorship in Toulouse. All through the 1990s, his recording activity remained intense, especially in his Massenet series of operas. In 1999, he left the Dresden Philharmonic, but retained his long-held French post. Up until his retirement In 2003, Plasson made numerous guest conducting appearances with various European and American orchestras, in addition to conducting at the world's most prominent opera houses, including the Met, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Covent Garden, and many others. Plasson has made about 50 recordings for EMI and a fair number for other labels as well. With his retirement, Plasson finally relinquished his long held post as music director of the Orchestre Capitole de Toulouse, but remains its Honorary Conductor. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 87 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556099 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  David Fray,  Fabio Biondi,  Samson François  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  André Cluytens,  Antonio Pappano,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
    CD: $12.99
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  • 2.
    Un siecle de musique francaise (A Century of French Music)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875192862 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Pierre Boulez,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Dalberto,  Jean-Guihen Queyras,  Mathieu Dufour,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Pierre Boulez,  Leonard Bernstein,  Hans Graf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir,  Cambridge Trinity College Choir,  Ensemble Incanto  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Sound of Erik Satie
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 555263 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  Michel Legrand,  Alexandre Tharaud,  Anne Queffélec  ... 
    Conductor:  Marius Constant,  Louis Auriacombe,  Pierre Dervaux,  Michel Plasson
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  • 4.
    3ere Souffle (3rd Stream) / Caens, Galliano, Caratini Jazz Ensemble
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 77 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Sheller,  Richard Galliano,  Michel Colombier,  Patrice Caratini
    Performer:  Thierry Caens
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caratini Jazz Ensemble
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  • 5.
    50 Most Beautiful Classical Pieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553009 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias,  Nicolai Gedda,  Kerstin [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  André Cluytens,  David Fray,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Les Arts Florissants,  Concentus Musicus Wien
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  • 6.
    Tout Satie!: Erik Satie Complete Edition
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 553008 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Erik Satie
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec,  Gabriel Tacchino,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Jean-Pierre Armengaud  ... 
    Conductor:  Marius Constant,  Michel Plasson,  Pierre Dervaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Ars Nova (Sweden)
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Jonas Kaufmann - Carmen, Tosca, Faust, Werther
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002359909 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Emily Magee,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Carignani,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Michel Plasson,  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $49.99
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  • 8.
    Jonas Kaufmann: Carmen - Tosca - Faust - Werther
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002360059 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Emily Magee,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Carignani,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Michel Plasson,  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $76.99
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  • 9.
    Thomas Hampson - Autograph
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564619045 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Charlotte Margiono,  Delores Ziegler,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Michel Plasson,  Antonio de Almeida,  Richard Armstrong  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $44.99
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  • 10.
    Autograph – Jose van Dam
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564619049 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Hector Berlioz,  Jacques Ibert,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Rosalind Plowright,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Dalton Baldwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Kent Nagano,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 11.
    Dark Hours: Mystic Moments Of Classical Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300613 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz,  Elka Mitzewa,  Cécile Ousset,  Rosemarie Lang  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Otmar Suitner,  Norman Shetler,  Witold Rowicki  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Natalie Dessay: De l'opera a la chanson
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 363956 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ambroise Thomas,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Roberto Alagna,  Franck Ferrari,  Matthew Rose  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Schoenwandt,  Michel Plasson,  Evelino Pidò,  Louis Langrée  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Le Concert D'Astrée
    CD: $22.99
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  • 13.
    Bravo! Villazon - The Recitals [4-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 623618 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Rolando Villazón,  Florian Laconi,  Theresa Blank
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Marcello Viotti,  Placido Domingo,  Evelino Pidò
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Madrid Community Orchestra,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $26.99
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  • 14.
    Le Meilleur D'une Vie: Enregistrements 1958-1997
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 631289 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith,  Pierre Pierlot,  Gérard Jarry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Martini,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jean-François Paillard,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94860 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 58
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Cécile Ousset,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Emmy Verhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Günther Herbig,  Heinz Bongartz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $128.99
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  • 16.
    Massenet: Werther / Plasson, Kaufmann, Koch, Tezier, Paris Opera [blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002014859 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Sophie Koch,  Ludovic Tézier,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Anne-Catherine Gillet
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Children's Chorus,  Paris National Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $43.99
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  • 17.
    Liszt: The Piano Concertos, Hungarian Rhapsodies / Freire, Pizarro
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300540 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Nelson Freire,  Artur Pizarro
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 18.
    Ravel Complete Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Ivo Pogorelich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Charles Dutoit,  Ernest Ansermet,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Nash Ensemble,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $85.99
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  • 19.
    The Best Classical Hits Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04103 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Prokofiev,  George Frideric Handel,  Gregorio Allegri  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Matthias Eisenberg,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Stephen Layton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Classical Players
    CD: $7.99
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  • 20.
    Dutilleux: Orchestral, Piano & Chamber Masterworks
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 19364 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Aude Guirai,  Timothee Collardot,  Sarah Lecolle,  Truls Otterbech Mork  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Jean-Claude Casadesus,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  French Radio New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Champs-Élysées Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $35.99
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  • 21.
    Ultimate Piano Concerto Collection (W/Cdrom) (Box)
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9098 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Derek Han,  Evgeni Kissin,  Karin Lechner,  Klára Würtz  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Dmitri Kitayenko,  Eduardo Marturet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Israel Chamber Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 22.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828262 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Best Choruses 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80416 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 24.
    Piano Concertos - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94095 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Karin Lechner,  Paolo Giacometti,  Nelson Freire  ... 
    Conductor:  Willfried Boettcher,  Heinz Wallberg,  Eduardo Marturet,  Arie Van Beek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Classical 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97577 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Placido Domingo,  Joyce DiDonato,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Eduardo Müller,  Robert Prizeman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Quatuor Ebène
    CD: $16.99
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