Music Director of both the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the
Orchestre symphonique de Trois- Rivières, Jacques Lacombe is
renowned as a remarkable conductor whose artistic integrity and
rapport with orchestras have propelled him to international
Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal from 2002 to 2006, Mr. Lacombe also served for three years as Music Director of the Philharmonie de Lorraine, Associate Conductor with the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon Provence, and has been Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières since 2006. In September 2010, he succeeded Neeme Järvi as Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, a contract that was recently extended through 2016. Since that appointment, Mr. Lacombe has garnered popular and critical praise for his creative programming and development of the NJSO. Under his leadership, the Orchestra's "Man & Nature" Winter Festivals have included highly renowned performances of Tan Dun's "Water Concerto", Scriabin's "Prometheus: The Poem of Fire"-with a realization of the composer's "color organ"-and the commissioning of the Francesca Harper Project to create original choreography for Beethoven's ballet "The Creatures of Prometheus". He also created the multi-year "New Jersey Roots Project," highlighting contemporary works by New Jersey composers.
In 2013/14 Mr. Lacombe spends guest weeks with the Montréal, Quebec and Columbus symphony orchestras. He conducts the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra throughout the season, with highlights including a "New World" themed season opener presenting the world premiere of the NJSO's commission by jazz pianist Geri Allen "Stones and Streams" (framed by works of Ellington and Dvořák); the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's "Barcarolles for a Sinking City", and the North American premiere of Tan Dun's "Earth Concerto", as part of the annual NJSO Winter Festival.
For his debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York in 2012 as part of Spring for Music festival, Mr. Lacombe received national recognition when he led the NJSO and pianist Marc-André Hamelin in the epic Busoni Piano Concerto. Anthony Tommasini wrote for the The New York Times, "It was an honor to be in the hall for the astonishing performance of the Busoni concerto."
Mr. Lacombe's outstanding work with the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières has also been recognized by being awarded the 2014 Juno Award given by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for Best Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance for his recent recording of "Lettres de Madame Roy à sa fille Gabrielle" with renowned contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux written by André Gagnon and Michel Tremblay.
In recent seasons he has collaborated with other distinguished soloists including Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Bryn Terfel, José Cura, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Yo- Yo Ma, André Watts, Yefim Bronfman and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
In addition to working with the Cincinnati, Toledo, Toronto and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras as wells as the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, and several tours and recordings with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Mr. Lacombe has worked abroad with the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga in Spain and with orchestras in Monte-Carlo, Nice, and Toulouse as well as throughout Eastern Europe. He has also led the Victoria Orchestra (Melbourne) and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
A seasoned operatic conductor, Mr. Lacombe returns to the Opéra
de Monte Carlo in the 2013/14 season to lead performances of
Donizetti's La Favorite, both in Monaco and at the Théâtre des
Champs Elysées in Paris, with tenor Juan Diego Flórez. He leads a
new production of the rarely performed Le Roi Arthus by Ernest
Chausson at the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg as well as a
new production of Poulenc's Dialogues des carmélites with the
Angers Nantes Opéra will be recorded for broadcast on France
In other recent highlights, Mr. Lacombe's work in opera includes all-star productions of La Bohème and Tosca at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the world premiere of John Estacio'sLillian Alling with the Vancouver Opera, Le Cid and the world premiere of Marius et Fanny with l'Opéra de Marseille with Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu, and many productions with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, including Un Ballo in Maschera,Ariadne auf Naxos, Der fliegende Holländer, and Eugene Onegin. Mr. Lacombe has also led a number of operatic rarities with the Deutsche Oper, including Zemlinsky's Der Traumgörge, Die Dorfschule by Felix von Weingartner, Carl Orff's Gisei - Das Opfer, and Waltershausen's Oberst Chabert, which was produced by CPO in 2011 as a live CD. He has led productions with Opéra de Monte-Carlo, at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and with the Metropolitan Opera, where he led Jules Massenet's Werther and Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus.
He has recorded for the CPO and Analekta labels, and leads Janáček's Suite from "The Cunning Little Vixen" and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" on a recent release from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast on PBS, the CBC, Mezzo TV in Europe, Arte TV in France and on Hungarian Radio-Television.
Born in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Québec, Jacques Lacombe received his musical training at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. He received Québec's highest civilian honor in 2012, when he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec. That same year he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the highest civilian honors in the country.