After nearly 25 years leading the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Jacques Ogg has announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2024-2025 season.
Since its establishment in 1985 by a collective of early music lovers and performers and founding music director Randy Bourne, Lyra has grown into one of the most important early music ensembles in the Upper Midwest, presenting an annual series of orchestral and chamber concerts in the Twin Cities and around the state of Minnesota. Under Mr. Ogg’s inspirational leadership, the orchestra has experienced sustained artistic growth, and collaborated with many of the world’s leading early music specialists. Lyra toured twice to Spain and released two critically-acclaimed recordings: the 2005 album Antonio Soler Villancicos on Glossa, and 2019’s C.P.E. Bach Concertos, which features Mr. Ogg and flutist Wilbert Hazelzet as soloists.
One of the most prominent and influential modern masters of harpsichord and fortepiano, Jacques Ogg performs worldwide as a soloist and continuo player. He was a member of one of the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles, the Orchestra of the 18th Century, directed by the late Frans Brüggen, and also works with Baroque orchestras in Salamanca and Tenerife, Spain. Highly sought after as a pedagogue, he was a harpsichord professor at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, one of the world’s foremost institutes for early music, where he is now Professor Emeritus. His discography includes more than 60 recordings with labels such as Philips, Sony, EMI, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Glossa.
“Jacques’ wonderful musicianship and skill, coupled with a delightful sense of humor, have been a source of inspiration for all of us in the Lyra community – both musicians and audience,” said longtime Lyra concertmaster, Lucinda Marvin. “His presence has been a gift for these years. I wish him the most beautiful next phase of life, whatever it holds.”
Margaret Sullivan, president of Lyra’s board of directors, said, “I know the members of the Lyra Board of Directors share my feelings that working with Jacques over these years has been an utter delight. He is a man of tremendous talent, sensitivity, dedication, and generosity. We are sad to see him go, even as we are looking forward to new, exciting adventures as we enter Lyra’s next era.”
“I will be sorry to say goodbye to the tenure of Jacques – he has always been a warm and engaging colleague, in addition to a transformational artist for our local early music community,” said Curtis Foster, Lyra’s Executive Director. “Next season will be about celebrating Jacques and all he has given to the Twin Cities. I am also excited, though, to look ahead to the possibilities of Lyra’s next chapter as we begin the search process for our new artistic leader.” A season announcement is planned for later this spring.
Donations will be accepted to the Jacques Ogg Artistic Fund to support programming in Mr. Ogg’s final season, as well as the search and transition process.