2010 Principal Conductor
From the beginning of his career, Jacques Lacombe has been highly praised as a remarkable conductor whose artistic integrity and rapport with orchestras have propelled him to international stature. Jacques Lacombe will become the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 13th Music Director, succeeding Neeme Järvi, in September 2010 for three-year term.
Maestro Lacombe assume the title of Music Director Designate of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, in addition to continuing his relationship with his hometown orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.
Maestro Lacombe began the 2009/10 season with his debut at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden leading an all-star cast of Tosca. He debuts also at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich with Ariadne auf Naxos, and returns to the Opéra de Monte-Carlo for Turandot and Les Contes d'hoffmann. He reprises Der fliegende Holländer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he also conducts Eugene Onegin and leads concert performances of Waltershausen's rarely heard Oberst Chabert. Orchestral engagements include the New Jersey, Edmonton and Québec symphony orchestras.
In 2008/09 Lacombe led new productions of Der fliegende Holländer and Ariadne auf Naxos at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and a double-bill of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Schoenberg’s Ewartung at l'Opéra de Québec. Orchestral dates included the Montreal Symphony with Joshua Bell; Carmina Burana with the New Jersey Symphony; a program of Holst with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; and tours with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with Yefim Bronfman, the NZSO National Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Career highlights include his 2002-06 tenure with the Montreal Symphony, where he led the orchestra as its Principal Guest Conductor in over 75 performances, in programs from the central European classics to the French and Russian literature, and several world premieres. At the Metropolitan Opera, Maestro Lacombe has conducted Werther and Die Fledermaus; Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande and Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgörge with the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Die Fledermaus and Jenufa with L’Opéra de Monte-Carlo; and performances with the opera companies of Philadelphia, Vancouver, Montreal, and Minnesota (Faust, Pearl Fishers, Carmen, Macbeth, Werther, La Fille du régiment, La Bohème, La fanciulla del West, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Traviata).
He has led the major symphony orchestras in Canada, including Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa; concerts and a recording with the Czech Philharmonic; Cavalleria Rusticana and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the Teatro Regio di Torino; the world premiere of Vladimir Cosma’s Fanny et Marius with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna and Damase’s Colombe with the Opéra de Marseille; Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and Massenet's Herodiade at the Théâtre Royal in Liège; Massenet's Sapho, La Forza del destino and Fidelio in Avignon; and concerts with the Orchestre Lamoureux at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He held a three-year appointment in France as the Music Director for opera and orchestra with the Philharmonie de Lorraine in Metz, leading the company in critically acclaimed productions of Carmen, Aida, Werther, Donizetti's Anna Bolena, and Berg's Lulu, as well as orchestral programs of Beethoven, Mahler, and Strauss and a series of newly commissioned works. Maestro Lacombe has also led the Slovakia Philharmonic, the Budapest Symphony, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Toulouse, Avignon, and Halle as well as numerous productions of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
He has recorded for the Analekta label and has led broadcasts on the CBC network, PBS, on Arte TV in France, and on Hungarian Radio-Television.
Born in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, Jacques Lacombe received his musical training at the Conservatoire de Musique in Montreal and at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna.