Paris Conservatoire has a bureaucrat in charge

Paris Conservatoire has a bureaucrat in charge


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2019

Anne-Marie Le Guével has been made acting director of the Paris Conservatoire, in the absence f any more qualified person.

The last boss, composer Bruno Mantovani, left in July and no-one has been found fit to replace him.

Le Guével holds the Napoleonic title of Inspector General of Cultural Affairs (IGAC).

She hs no public or online profile.


  • Mike Schachter says:

    A suitably Napoleonic title

  • William Walton says:

    Yet again, another anachronistic French step back into the past, putting people into very important positions who actually have no known qualifications in the field concerned. Is this woman a musician? Is this woman experienced in music pedagogy? Is this woman a respected educator with clear ideas and views on the future of music conservatories? Does this woman come to the job with already established links and contacts within the world of music conservatories, both within France and outside of France? Can this woman even speak English fluently or any other foreign language?
    I don’t profess to know the answers to these questions, but based on my past experience dealing with French bureaucrats and education administrators, the probability is very high that she doesn’t possess any of these qualifications and is yet another dry French administrator, coming from the French caste system of trained administrators who populate the country and keep it locked in a time warp. Her Napoleonic title already tells a lot: Inspector General of Cultural Affairs. This would actually be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic.

    • 18mebrumaire says:

      But you don’t need a musician for this kind of job. There will be plenty of super-qualified musicians on the teaching staff. Mme Le Guevel has been appointed to direct operations, keep the ship afloat and headed in the right direction not to conduct classes in solfege!

      • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

        The composer and conductor Bruno Mantovani, whatever his strengths and weaknesses in this post, served for 9 years (3 terms of 3 years, the current limit) as the musical leader whose main duty is to provide the artistic vision for this important school with an international reach.

        I believe that the CNSMDP (aka the Paris Conservatory) already has an administrator who takes care of the non-musical nuts and bolts issues and directs operations. This new person, recently installed ad interim, is most likely a “fonctionnaire” named by the Minister of Culture until they find a worthy artist successor to the line that has included Luigi Cherubini, Daniel Auber, AmbroiseThomas, Théodore Dubois, Gabriel Fauré, Marcel Dupré, and Marc-Olivier Dupin, among others.

        I wonder if they would ever consider the clarinetist and conductor Paul Meyer, or another significant French artist like the organist and composer Thierry Escaich ? That would be a real coup (d’etat) Monsieur Brumaire.

        • Part of the problem in both Europe and North America has been the conflicts of interest when musicians are assigned to properly administer colleagues with whom they have close personal and/or professional relationships. As we have all recently seen, this can lead to even elite schools (no names mentioned) overlooking, rationalizing, and covering up severely unprofessional and even plainly criminal behavior.

      • Ruben Greenberg says:

        Absolutely true. Plus, she has been named “par interim”: acting director, so awaiting somebody else that should be appointed soon.

  • cym says:

    Why not wait and see ?

  • In Germany (and perhaps in France as well,) there has been a trend toward using professional administrators as the directors of conservatories. They insure professional operations while working together with the faculty in artistic matters.

  • Robert Freeman says:

    At the time I was appointed 4th director of the Eastman School of Music in 1972 I had a broad musical background – as oboist, pianist, conductor, and musicologist – but no background whatever in administrative leadership.Though the first two years were very hard, with the support of an able and dedicated faculty I ended up staying 24 years, during which we succeeded together in bringing to pass many of the reforms recently advocated for musicians of the future in the recent publications of Sarath, Myers, and Campbell as well as Stepniak, and Sirotin. When Juilliard looked for a new president two years ago, they ended up with a dancer. I send my warm best wishes for much success to Anne-Marie Guevel!

  • Stuart says:

    She has a LinkedIn profile.

    anne-marie le guével

    inspectrice générale des affaires culturelles, responsable déléguée audit interne chez Ministère de la Culture
    Paris Area, France

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    I think I may have been at school with her.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Correction : I was at school with her.