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“Terra Nostra is a thirty-minute, multimedia symphony about climate change, composed by Christophe Chagnard, with poetry by Emily Siff and a film by Charlie Spears. It premièred in 2015, but the latest iteration has just gone online. It’s a magnificent half hour."
The NewYorker, October 7, 2020
“Chagnard led his team with a minimum of gesture but full feeling, and dancing tempi that allowed every flourish to shine.”  The News Tribune, November 17, 2014


“In all, a concert that thoroughly deserved its lengthy ovation, and which exemplifies the best of what a contemporary chamber orchestra should be.”  The News Tribune, November 17, 2014


“As Chagnard’s sweeping dynamic architecture hammered home the drama of Christ’s trial, suffering, death and final hopeful promise, this St. John Passion – perfectly timed for Lent – became the kind of musical experience Puget Sound audiences should have every year.”  The News Tribune, March 18, 2014

“It was with a majesty and solemnity that befit both the towering venue and the Biblical story that the Northwest Sinfonietta performed Bach’s St. John Passion tonight at First Presbyterian Church, Seattle.”  The News Tribune, March 18, 2014


“When you combine a top-notch chamber orchestra with some of the best landscape music ever written, you’re going to get a fine concert. Add in a superlative violin soloist and some tranquilly beautiful visuals, and the concert just hit the level of the Northwest Sinfonietta’s program last night at Tacoma’s Rialto Theater “.

The News Tribune, February 19, 2014


“The Sinfonietta strings dispatched Britten’s virtuoso string writing with impressive fire, and the quieter sections had an alluring luminosity of tone.”  The News Tribune, November 18, 2013


“Throughout all, the Sinfonietta played with their usual exquisite grace.”  The News Tribune, October 15, 2013

 “The surroundings were relaxed, but the performance was admirably crisp and disciplined.  Christophe Chagnard and the Northwest Sinfonietta brought their 22nd season to a highly accomplished conclusion on 12 May in Puyallup handsome Pioneer Park Pavilion.  Chagnard applied a light touch to both the slow movement and the symphony’s (Mendelssohn’s 3rd) flowing peroration, two parts of the work that can sound maudlin if they are played too emphatically, and the contrast with the dazzling scherzo and the Allegro vivacissimo main section of the finale was therefore all the more effective.  Again the orchestral sound was full of colour and warmth, and the horns were impressively secure in several testing passages”.
Music Web International, May 20, 2013

“The chamber orchestra struck gold, playing for Chaplin’s 1925 ‘The Gold Rush’ with warmth and the kind of precise visual synchronization that made you occasionally forget that they were even there.  The tricky part of accompanying film music as a group is keeping together and keeping-up with the images – and the Sinfonietta, under phenomenally precise direction from Christophe Chagnard, did this brilliantly”.
The News Tribune, March 18, 2013

“It’s not often that, what is rather solemnly called ‘classical music’ raises belly laughs in its audience, but that’s what happened when the Northwest Sinfonietta played Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite in the course of its enterprisingly planned program.  Credit goes to Christophe Chagnard for the crisply pointed playing he drew from his orchestra, and in particular to Douglas Nierman, who brought an unusual degree of humour to his delivery of the cheeky trombone glissandos in the Vivo movement”.
Music Web International, November 4, 2012

 “Northwest Sinfonietta dazzled audiences in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos...”
The Cuban Experience, February 2012

“It’s official-the Tacoma based Northwest Sinfonietta has been licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department for a 10-day, two-city tour of Cuba in January 2012.  The 10-member ensemble will be only the third orchestra to visit Cuba since the country’s 1959 revolution”.
The News Tribune, November 8, 2011

“It’s always a pleasure to watch the Northwest Sinfonietta, whose friendship and congenial collaboration is sparklingly evident in their music”.
The News Tribune, November 13, 2011

“The orchestra played wonderfully, supplying responsive dialogue, simply huge sound belying the numbers on stage, especially in brass and timpani.  Chagnard controlled all with a wide emotional range, lining up entries effortlessly”.
The News Tribune, October 18, 2011

“Hearing Stein’s reduction of Mahler’s symphony was a unique experience.  So unique, that it is very likely Friday’s performance was the Northwest premiere of the piece”.
The Gathering Note, May 12, 2010

“As Mozart’s last composition and one of his most popular and respected works, the Northwest Sinfonietta and Choral Union brought the Requiem to its full extent, while Chagnard’s presence was the highlight of the Night.  It was an exceptional performance by the French conductor who gave a spirited and moving performance of this personal and deeply felt work.  Being one of the best classical music organizations in the Northwest, Northwest Sinfonietta continues to raise the quality of world-class classical music”.
The Seattle Chinese Times, April 22, 2010

"Controlled power and relentless emotion worked together at the Rialto Theater on Saturday night as the Northwest Sinfonietta, with Choral Union and soloists, offered-up Mozart's Requiem to a full house for its final subscription concert of the season with stunning effect."
The News Tribune, April 18, 2010

“Throughout, the Sinfonietta played with all the commitment, skill and spirit audiences have come to expect”.
The News Tribune, April 18, 2010

“Chagnard, meanwhile, was a commanding presence, Building climaxes architecturally and ruthlessly, taking tempi both serious and inventive”.
The News Tribune, April 18, 2010

“Chagnard led a bold, angry version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni” overture, full of suspense, menacing brass and abrupt drops. Chagnard’s well-built sound continued into Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony No.35.  Chagnard was in full control here (with both scores memorized), creating fine architecture”.
The News Tribune, November 17, 2009

 “Throughout, Chagnard moved the orchestra through their alternate stillnesses and shifting movement, working in perfect synch with Roman and painting an aural tapestry of gorgeously pealing violins, hushed cello choirs and austere bass drones.  And as the solo ran to its final, incredibly high vanishing point, the audience sat spellbound”.
The News Tribune, March 18, 2009

“In its final subscription concert for 2008-2009, the Northwest Sinfonietta proved Saturday night that they’re one of the Northwest’s best musical ensembles”.
The News Tribune, April 5, 2009

“The reduced ensemble played in near-perfect synchronicity this piece [Mozart’s Symphony No.29]   The first movement had the violin on the edge of their seats with Chagnard creating excellent chiaroscuro and fun surprises”.
The News Tribune, April 5, 2009

“The Northwest Sinfonietta met the challenge admirably, playing Chaplin’s own original scores to two of his silent films, the ensemble displayed both skill and flexibility.  In ‘A Dog’s Life’, as Chaplin launches from rags to riches with unflappable comedic timing, conductor Christophe Chagnard matched mood and scene shifts almost perfectly”.
The News Tribune, February 2, 2009

“Not willing to be confined to conventional corners, Chagnard has created an array of programs with unusual pairings of composers and soloists.  ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’ represents Stravinsky at the height of his powers, which the ensemble of seven players captured with accuracy and musical acuity.  Chagnard led with obvious confidence and poise.  His reading was perceptive, brisk and immediate”.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 6, 2008

“Saturday evening was, in sum, a stylish example of the kind of playing the Sinfonietta excels in, and the kind of imaginative programming they’ve set for the season”.
The News Tribune, October 7, 2008

 “It is cliché to say, but Christophe Chagnard, French by birth, radiated Ravel and Debussy.  Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin was brilliant, detailed and textured.  Chagnard minded the balances in the tight, Nordstrom Recital Hall”.
The Gathering Note, November 26, 2008

The News Tribune, January 1, 2008

“Most orchestras play Beethoven’s 1st Symphony with reduced strings, but rarely as few as the 20 strings of the Northwest Sinfonietta.  That, of course, is a point that Chagnard likes to make.  Fewer musicians provides greater clarity and more nimble response to Beethoven’s intention.  Certainly, the musicians took to their assignments with vitality and a sense of forward motion.  They attacked everything with admirable zeal and confidence but never presented an uncivilized face to the proceedings”.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 19, 2008

“Joyful, triumphant playing and a sold-out house combined in the Rialto Theater on Saturday night for the final concert in the Northwest Sinfonietta’s main season: Beethoven’s Symphony No.9...  But it was the last movement that surpassed every terrific Beethoven concert the sinfonietta has done this season.  As the full state of musicians wound up to a triumphant, joyful finish, their huge clear sound blasting straight back off the Rialto’s walls, the excitement in the audience was also palpable.  What a joy to have an orchestra and singers of this calibre performing works like this – it’s something Tacoma should be proud of”.
The News Tribune, April 8, 2008

"...the Northwest Sinfonietta is sexy because the material they present represents the emotional flows, waves and peaks that carry listeners to a sensory place that transcends most other experiences. It's the kind of stuff that raises hairs on the napes of necks; it's stuff that squeezes tears out of dry eyes for inexplicable reasons."
The Weekly Volcano, October 2007

"The Northwest Sinfonietta opens their season triumphantly... The orchestra put in its finest: really responsive chamber playing, highly engaged and full of energy."
The News Tribune, October 2007

"The Northwest Sinfonietta orchestrates rousing performances of accessible music and eliminates the stuffy stereotypes... music director Christophe Chagnard takes the music of ages and elevates it from mere notes to an entire experience..."
The Weekly Volcano, July 2007

"Best Classical Music"
(From Best of Tacoma)
The Weekly Volcano, July 2007

“The Northwest Sinfonietta orchestrates rousing performances of accessible music and eliminates the stuffy stereotypes.  With the classical sensibilities that would seem to be innate in a Frenchman, music director Christophe Chagnard takes the music of ages and elevates it from mere notes to an entire experience."
The Weekly Volcano, July 2007

"All this was highly accomplished, and much of it was deeply moving. Under Christophe Chagnard's expert direction, too, the Northwest Sinfonietta provided support that was tidy and musicianly..."
Music Web-International, July 2007

"...the crispness of the Sinfonietta was flawless... its musicians produced their best playing yet."
The News Tribune, April 2007

"Soloist and conductor worked together at a headlong pace that took every risk in the book, yet once again there was a sense of total security in the execution, and even at this speed, Schwarz had time to sing his phrases with ample eloquence of line and sound."
MusicWeb-International, February 2007

"Superb staging, exquisite blending and sheer fun made this show a Sinfonietta winner."
The News Tribune, January 2007

"Hearing a Northwest Sinfonietta concert is like drinking a great young wine: enjoyable, with both tangy notes and occasional flashes of stunning perfection."
The News Tribune, October 2006

"Tacoma Opera and the Northwest Sinfonietta kidnapped a rapt audience with an unconventional version of Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'."
The News Tribune, November 2005

"...Such sublime grace that the audience seemed to lose its collective breath."
The News Tribune, April 2004

"Unlike other out-of-town orchestral ensembles that have tried to establish a Seattle presence and failed, the Northwest Sinfonietta has succeeded."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 2003

"Music Director Christophe Chagnard said he hoped the evening would cure classical music skeptics, and did draw a large, and it seemed, young crowd and elicited a rousing standing ovation."
The News Tribune, March 2003

"The smaller size of the orchestra has created a more intimate setting for the performance, giving the audience a sense of greater connection."
The Olympian, January 2003

"This season has been a remarkable high with one of the best chamber orchestras currently playing."
Tacoma Reporter, March 2003

"Simply exhilarating"
The News Tribune, November 2002

"The playing sparkled with exuberance."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 2002

"The orchestra played with verve and irresistible momentum."
The News Tribune, September 2002

"The 12-year-old Northwest Sinfonietta, based in Tacoma under the direction of conductor Christophe Chagnard, has developed into an ensemble that can hold its own among the best classical-music organizations in the Northwest. "
The Seattle Times, September 2002

"Anyone interested in classical music should hear this Tacoma gem."
The News Tribune, March 2000

One of "the 10 Best in Classical Music for 1999"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 1999

"Through this more translucent orchestral sound, the soloist can be heard with startling clarity; it's enough to make you start a campaign for smaller orchestras and smaller houses. "
The Seattle Times, November 1999

"If this stunning opener is any indication, the Northwest Sinfonietta is well on the way to becoming regional music royalty itself"
The News Tribune, September 1999

"...the Sinfonietta's performance was as close to an unqualified success as a first take gets."
The News Tribune, December 1997

"Chagnard...drove his orchestra with almost reckless abandon. The result was spectacular, even heroic."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 1998

"Clarity, precision and attention to detail are the hallmarks of the Northwest Sinfonietta performances..."
The News Tribune, September 1996

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