Paris names ‘post-colonial’ Conservatoire director

Paris names ‘post-colonial’ Conservatoire director


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2019

The new head of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris is to be Émilie Delorme, an artistic administrator from Lyon.

As the first woman, non-white head of the venerable institution (est. 1795), Delorme, 44, is already being called out in rightwing media for planning a feminist, post-colonial revolution.

She has been for the past ten years the fairly non-contentious director of the academy of the Aix-en-Provence festival.


  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    All the best, Emilie.

  • clarrieu says:

    “Non-white”? please Norman, amend your post. All the fuss about this article from “Le Point” seems intended to divert from the real controversial point, already raised by some musicians: for the first time, the director of the Paris Cnsmd is not to be a professional musician, traditionally a composer (the last director who wasn’t himself a Conservatoire graduate was… Fauré !). That’s what people should be commenting about, although the PC stuff reported in the article should give us some hints about the political background of this appointment…

    • John Borstlap says:

      But would a composer be better at such post than someone with already administrative experience of running a music festival? Imagine someone like Pierre Boulez would be in that position, or Georg Friedrich Haas or Olga Neuwirth. Or Pascal Dusapin, Vinko Globokar, Philippe Manoury. Composers may have interesting musical visions for a conservatory but not many of them would have pluralistic ones.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      She is a mining engineer. What do you have against mining engineers?

  • Michael says:

    She was not just the head of the Academie European de Musique in Aix, she was (is) the director of Emmanuel Pahud, Eric Le Sage and Paul Meyer’s Festival ‘Musique à l’Empéri’, the director of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, and created with Bernard Foccroulle the European Network of Opera Academies. Someone rightly pointed out that she studied engineering, but omitted to add that she also studied viola to a prize winning level as well as the violin and musical analysis in Lyon and Nancy. She is extremely talented, and a very nice person. I’m sure she will be a great success.