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Born in France, Jean-Louis Forestier has recently successfully extended his growing international reputation to the Australian cultural arena as a guest conductor with the Tasmanian, Melbourne, Queensland and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, and Hobart's IHOS Opera.

His conducting history commenced at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Pierre Dervaux and later at l'Academia Chigghiana, Sienna (Italy) with Franco Ferrara. He has also studied and worked closely with renowned French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who for many years was the director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Prior to this Jean-Louis Forestier studied percussion (with 1st Prize & Honours Prize) at the National Conservatorium of Versailles, with one of the world’s foremost percussionists Sylvio Gualda. He then rose to professional prominence as Principal Percussionist and Tympanist with the Orchestre National de l'Opera de Paris (1981-1990). He performed widely as a percussion soloist and premiered a number of significant contemporary compositions.

In France he has directed and conducted a number of the country’s leading orchestras including, the Orchestres National de Bordeaux, Bretagne, Lille, Toulouse, Pays de Loire, Montpellier and l'Ile de France, and with the Orchestre de Bourgogne for it's Festival of Music and Cinema. He was also Musical Director of the Opera du Rhin (1988 to 1990), and Assistant Conductor to Alain Lombard at the National Orchestra of Bordeaux-Aquitaine (1990 to 1993).

Since 1991 he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Orchestral Ensemble of Kanazawa, in Japan.

In addition to his extensive symphonic and opera repertoire, Jean-Louis Forestier has collaborated with many illustrious contemporary composers for both concerts and CD recordings including Berio, Boulez, Xenakis, Ohana, Bayer, Dusapin, and Cavana.

Jean-Louis Forestier is intensely involved in musical pedagogy and has worked extensively with many youth orchestras and Conservatoriums; Versailles, Brest, Gennevilliers, the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, IHOS Music Theatre & Opera Laboratory and Australian National University (ANU) School of Music Canberra. Forestier is currently developing an artistic collaboration and exchange with ANU Virtuosi Orchestra, Canberra and Gennevilliers School of Music, Paris.

Recent recordings include: Jolivet, Milhaud & Poulenc, soloist Thomas O’Kelly, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Warner (Japan). Film score for Mon Petit Doigt m’a Dit, director Pascal Thomas, composer Reinhart Wagner, Orchestra Camerata de Bourgogne (France). Raffael Mendez, soloist Geoffrey Payne, MSO, ABC Classics (Australia), The Glass Soldier, composer Nigel Westlake, MSO (Australia).

Jean-Louis Forestier has a very wide repertory, ranging from classical to contemporary, and conducts with as much brio both symphonic and operatic productions. His great competence and sensitivity give him a natural authority to conduct any orchestra and he is widely recognized by both critics and the public alike.