Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes

Twenty-five years after the creation of the Festival of Saintes, the need to transmit knowledge became apparent. Encouraged by the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Philippe Herreweghe, the Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye (JOA) welcomed its first students in 1996. Twenty-three years later, this group, unique in Europe and increasingly renowned each year, allows young musicians at the end of their studies or the beginning of their professional careers to take on playing the Classical or Romantic repertoire on period instruments. Bolstered by its collaborations with prestigious conductors, such as Philippe Herreweghe, Hervé Niquet, Laurence Equilbey and Marc Minkowski, the JOA attracts musicians from the entire world.
These young talents gather for several weeks every year in residency at the Abbey. The training closes out with concerts, several of which are performed as part of the Festival de Saintes, giving these young musicians authentic stage experience, an arrangement which favours their entry into the professional world.
The JOA obtained a bronze medal from the Trophées des initiatives FSE in 2017, in the “Work with youth” category, honoured for its work preparing young musicians to enter professional careers.