Patrick Cohën-Akenine

Patrick Cohën-Akenine studied violin under P. Amoyal, M. Auclair and G. Jarry before joining the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where he devoted himself enthusiastically to string quartets. He was a highly successful student, winning a Ministry of Culture prize and a special prize at the Evian International Competition. He also received several violin awards (the Douai Young Soloists competition, the Gérard Poulet Competition in Vichy and a first prize at the Epernay International String Competition).

Alongside his classical training, Patrick Cohën-Akenine also took an interest in ancient music. Having studied baroque violin under Enrico Gatti and P. Bismuth, he was awarded first prize at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris in 1996. A well-known violinist on the Baroque scene, Patrick Cohën-Akenine has worked with the leading baroque conductors, including H. Niquet and W. Christie, Ph. Herreweghe and Ch. Rousset.

In 2000, he decided to set up Les Folies françoises. Known for its innovation and variety, the ensemble has been invited to perform at the most prestigious concert halls and festivals in France and beyond. Les Folies françoises’ recent productions include two programmes produced in collaboration with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles in 2014, to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau. In the same year, the ensemble performed Mozart’s Apollo und Hyacinthus, a lyrical production directed by Natalie van Parys, at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. In 2016, Les Folies françoises will be performing with the counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky in a Scarlatti oratorio. They have also made a number of recordings showcasing their wide repertoire (Bach, Leclair, Rameau…).

Having gained a wealth of experience with Les Folies françoises, Patrick Cohën-Akenine was given the opportunity to conduct modern orchestras. In December 2003 and the summer of 2011, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie invited him to conduct a series of concerts aimed at introducing its musicians to the techniques required for performing a baroque repertoire. He repeated the experience with the Opéra de Rouen in 2008. In March 2008, at the invitation of the Paris National Opera’s Atelier Lyrique, he conducted Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, directed by Dominique Pitoiset, at the Opéra Bastille. He has recently conducted the orchestra of the Escolia Superior de Musica in Barcelona in performances of Haydn’s symphonies and the Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans in Haydn’s The Creation. In November 2010, in a tribute to the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, he led the orchestra of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in a concert featuring mainly works by Beethoven and Cherubini in particular. Patrick Cohën-Akenine also made guest performances with the Barrocade ensemble during their tour of Israel in January 2011 and February 2012. 

In August 2014, he was invited to organise the final of the “Cesti Competition” for baroque opera by the directors of the Innsbruck festival. They also invited him to oversee the production of Lully’s Armide for the 2015 festival and to stage a repeat performance for the 2016 Potsdam festival.

Passionate about education and a qualified teacher, Patrick Cohën-Akenine taught at the Vallée de la Chevreuse Regional Conservatoire for Music and Dance and at the J-B. Lully Conservatoire in Puteaux. He is regularly invited to run masterclasses. In June 2010, he was charged with the task of recreating Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roy (The King’s twenty four Violins) whilst conducting masterclasses at the Royal College of Music in London. Then, during the summer of 2012, he conducted an Anglo-French orchestra academy reconstruction of the Vingt-Quatre Violons du Roy during a concert tour, including performances at the Palace of Versailles, the Montpellier festival and the Proms.

 Patrick Cohën-Akenine was awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2006.