Maxime Pascal is a passionate advocate for French, twentieth century and new music, and makes it one of the foundations of his musical collaborations. In his operatic work, this has led him to creating Salvatore Sciarrino’s Te vedo, ti sento, mi perdo at La Scala in 2017, which he later took to Staatsoper Berlin. In 2019 he performed Luca Francesconi’s Quartett with Teatro alla Scala, his third collaboration with the opera house. In the summer of 2023, he made his debut at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with Le Balcon, performing the highly anticipated production of Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. Other operatic highlights of recent seasons include appearances at Vienna Festival with Lulu by Alban Berg as well as Bohuslav Martinů’s The Greek Passion at Salzburg Festival. He continues to present a new production of Donnerstag aus Licht with Le Balcon in 2023 in Philharmonie de Paris.
Maxime also explores his French heritage in his opera work, collaborating with Opéra de Paris on multiple occasions to perform works such as Daphnis et Chloé, Boléro, L’heure espagnole and Gianni Schicchi. In Europe, he conducted Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at Malmö Opera in 2016 and made his hugely successful BBC Proms debut in 2019 in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia Voices and Genesis Sixteen. In the same season, Maxime conducted a Debussy/Stravinsky programme with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in Caracas, and in the coming year he will conduct Peter Eötvös’s new opera Sleepless in Berlin and Geneva, and premiere Sivan Eldar’s Like Flesh in Lille.
As a founding member of the multi-faceted artistic group Le Balcon, Maxime has developed together with his colleagues a unique vision of the musical performance as a striking and radical experience for the public. Performing a wide range of repertoire, Le Balcon integrates music with advanced sound and lighting systems, in exciting and compelling musical experiences. Their projects so far have included Ariadne auf Naxos, staged by Benjamin Lazar; a video spectacle on Pierrot Lunaire created by the Colombian artist Nieto; and Stockhausen’s Donnerstag Aus Licht at London’s Southbank Centre in 2019. This led to a seven-year collaboration with Philharmonie de Paris where the ensemble will perform Stockhausen’s whole Licht cycle, staging one opera per year, including Dienstag in October 2020. Maxime and Le Balcon offer unique programmes such as Boulez/ Gesualdo/Grisey, or Mahler’s Das lied von der Erde. Both have been performed and streamed during the lockdown period where Le Balcon have remained very active. Maxime Pascal and Le Balcon have collaborated with Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, Peter Eötvös and Michaël Lévinas, and in September 2016 released their debut album featuring a loose adaptation of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (Le Balcon & BMedia/distributed by Outhere).
Alongside operatic engagements, Maxime is establishing himself as a leading symphonic conductor. Highlights of the 2023/2024 season include his debut at Enescu Festival with Le Balcon and Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise, followed by debut performances with Frankfurt HR and Santa Ceciia with the violinist Patricia Kopachinskaja. Other highlights of the season include Brecht’s The Three Penny opera revival in Paris, new production of Carmen with Theater Basel, as well as a project with the Hallé. His high demand in Japan results in re-invitations from Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.