Playing for Philharmonie de Paris: music brings us together

Bringing together amateur and professional musicians, the 5th edition of the project attracted nearly 1,800 spectators during two concerts in June 2021. Relive the concert now on replay on YouTube.

June 21, 2021, 8:00 p.m.: silence gradually is descending upon the magnificent “Pierre Boulez” hall of the Philharmonie de Paris. Ninety instrumentalists, their eyes raised, are awaiting the conductor's signal to begin playing. After a short introduction speech, François-Xavier Roth finally lowers his baton for this new edition of the “Playing for Philharmonie de Paris” project.

In the middle of the stage, sixty amateur instrumentalists working daily in Societe Generale's teams in France start to play. They are accompanied by around 30 musicians from the orchestra Les Siècles, a partner of the project since the very first concert at the Salle Pleyel in 2013. 

Together, they have worked for 18 months to present an ambitious program in this prestigious hall, overcoming the constraints of a global pandemic. “Rehearsals were suspended at each containment, and resumption was uncertain”, reports Marie-Claire after the concert who plays among the viola section. Rehearsals in tutti were therefore concentrated on the last few weeks. On the day of the concert, the musicians are happy to have carried this adventure through to the end. Marie-Claire describes notably the “pleasure of sharing”, getting together and “savouring” a musical moment together.

Agnès, who came to the first of the two concerts, appreciates the requiring preparation that must have been necessary for these amateur musicians. And she underlines the feeling of “welcome and benevolence” transmitted by the pros and by François-Xavier Roth who introduces each piece. “Everyone finds their place, regardless of their initial musical knowledge,” says this Societe Generale employee. A music lover herself, she is one of the lucky ones who were able to attend the concerts. Also present were choristers from France, Russia and the Ivory Coast, whose participation had to be postponed this year. A few still managed to make the trip to Paris for the occasion. 

At the end of the concert, the warmth of the applause shows the spectactors’ enthusiasm. Agnès concludes: “We feel that we have just lived an exceptional moment. This year especially, after so many months without live music, what a feeling!”

Private concert "Playing for Philharmonie de Paris" - Les Siècles & Societe Generale