Jean-Paul Penin studied at the Conservatories of Strasbourg (Double-bass, analysis and chamber music), Paris and San Francisco, as a Fulbright scholar. During his studies (Ph.D. in Biophysics and Master of Arts), he is the director of the Strasbourg University Orchestra. Following the 1979 Tokyo Min-On Conductors Competition, Alain Lombard appointed him Assistant at the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, then Lorin Maazel at the Vienna State Opera (Kappelmeister, 1982).
Following his appointment as Permanent Guest Conductor of the National Philharmonic of Krakow (1990), the German Editions Bärenreiter entrusted him with the exclusive French recreation of the newly discovered young Berlioz’s Messe Solennelle (first world recording, october 7th, 1993) which he was then often invited to conduct, as at the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires. Always interested in forgotten masterpieces, several of his recordings, including operas, are also world premieres: Chabrier's Gwendoline, Spontini’s Napoleonian opera Fernand Cortez, Le Freischütz in Berlioz's French version, Sacchini’s Oedipe à Colone, commissioned by king Louis XVIth for the grand opening of the new Versailles palast opera house, in 1786. For this recording, Jean-Paul Penin asks a complete new orchestra material to be established, based upon the composer’s own original printed score.
His conducting repertoire goes from the baroque, classical and romantic repertoire to the most contemporary : european premiere of Olivier Messian’s La Ville d’en Haut, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, which he conducted at one day’s notice, creation of François Fayt’s opera Black Blood based upon Louis Guilloux’s novel, at the Erfurt opera house, 2015.
Since a few years, Jean-Paul Penin develops his activity of composer : Paris 1930, 12 waltzes (Syrius 2014).
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A film by Impulse Art Production Amsterdam
Choir and orchestra o the Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania,
Teatro Greco di Taormina
Berlioz Carnaval Romain, KBS Seoul.