After studying music and choral and orchestral conducting in Paris, Vienna and Stockholm, Laurence Equilbey founded the choral group Accentus in 1991. In parallel with this, she created in 2002 the first training ensemble for young singers to be attached to the Conservatoire National de Région in Paris. This led her, in 2004, to create with Accentus the tenso programme, which brings together the finest European vocal ensembles for the purpose of research into and development of vocal art.
Accentus is today an ensemble of 32 professional singers which appears at the leading French and international festivals. The choir collaborates regularly with prestigious conductors and orchestras including Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, the Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Concerto Köln, and the Akademie für Alte Musik. Critically acclaimed ever since its first recording, each of the groups CDs has received numerous prizes from the music press, and its recording of “Transcriptions” has sold more than 100,000 copies.
A renowned figure in the world of Baroque music, French soprano Sandrine Piau performs regularly with such celebrated conductors as William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, Gustav Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ton Koopman, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Fabio Biondi, Michel Corboz, Josep Pons and Louis Langrée. Internationally-acclaimed French baritone Stephane Degout graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and then became a member of the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Lyon. Degout gained international attention when he made a triumphant debut as Papageno at the Festival dAix-en-Provence in 1999.
Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 between 1887 and 1890. His reasons for composing his Requiem are uncertain. One possible impetus may have been the death of his father in 1885, and his mother's death two years later on New Year's Eve 1887. However, by the time of his mother's death he had already begun the work, which he later declared was "composed for nothing … for fun, if I may be permitted to say so!" Originally written for smaller forces, the score was reworked for full orchestra by the composer between 1899 and1900.