Eric Desnoues and the Nuits Musicales d'Uzès Festival

FR - Eric Desnoues has been the director of the Nuits Musicales d'Uzès festival since 1994. But while he is no stranger to the world of music, it was on stage that his heart was driven before he became Festival Director. A fine musician, notes once teased his professional aspirations.


Festival d ete saison de concerts 2024 2025



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The summer concert season of the 53rd Nuits Musicales d'Uzès is getting ready to take its place in the courtyards of the Duchy, the Bishop's Palace and at L'Ombrière, with a rich programme.



Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio,

Beethoven's 7th Symphony and Hummel's 2nd Piano Concerto,

John Blow's baroque opera Venus and Adonis,

Handel's majestic Fireworks and Water Music,

sacred and traditional songs from Armenia,

Romantic trios by Schubert and Brahms,

Fado by Cristina Branco and Italian Jazz by Stefano di Battista...

>> Découvrir les concerts



eric desnoues©saloméwithacamera


How long have you been directing Les Nuits Musicales Festival? What other shows did you manage before coming to Uzès?

Les Nuits Musicales d'Uzès Festival was created in 1971, and I've had the pleasure of directing the Festival since 1994. So this will be my 30th edition this year.

At the same time, I'm the director of the Grands Concerts in Lyon, which allows us to build great musical bridges between the two cities all year round and is a great asset to the Nuits Musicales d'Uzès programme, both for the July Festival and for its extension throughout the year with our Season of concerts at L'Ombrière.

When we last spoke to you, you told us about your past as a musician and your desire, for a time, to give concerts. Why did you decide to do otherwise?

I started playing the piano at the age of six, and over fifty years later, my passion for music is still as strong as ever. I studied at the Conservatoire (Lyon and Geneva) where I was trained as a conductor. I was a young conductor, but I didn't practice this profession for long. Perhaps I was too young and then, sometimes, life also decides for you the path you take.

In the end, it was quite natural that I chose to go into artistic direction, to be behind the scenes rather than in front of the stage. This has enabled me to make some wonderful encounters with musicians whom I admire and with whom I feel able to engage in dialogue.

An artistic director is a medium between the audience and the artists, and I love fulfilling this role in which I can help the artists' proposals to evolve, as they are not always aware of the audience's expectations, and encourage the audience to develop their curiosity to go beyond certain standards to which they are accustomed.


Jeune orchestre baroque europeen sylvain sartre jobe 2023 credit amael debord


The 2024/2025 season will feature a host of summer and winter concerts, with ‘over 200 artists, including the Royal Orchestre de l'Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles, the Orchestre National Avignon-Provence, the Ensemble Matheus, the ensemble Canticum Novum, the Trio Sora, the Jeune Orchestre Baroque Européen whose virtuosity we were able to appreciate in the 2023 season, the Cristina Branco quartet, and the Stefano di Battista quintet...


How do you select the artists and organise the programme? Is your team involved in choosing the performers?

Our artistic programming is above all based on our love of the works and artists that we want to share with the public. I'm in constant dialogue with the artists, following their development, listening to their proposals, they come to me and I also try to fulfil my mission of discovering new talent.

Over several decades I've seen so many exceptional musicians emerge. I admire them because they climb a musical Everest at every concert and must never disappoint. I feel a great sense of humility and brotherhood towards them.




Stefano di battista quintet stefano di battista giovanni canitanoMy complicity with my team has only grown with time.

Valérie Faure, deputy director of Les Nuits Musicales, is my alter ego. We work together to create tailor-made programmes to delight our audiences, always looking for the best match between works, performers and venues, and constantly varying the colours, forms and styles of music.

Of course, we also have to be realistic and take into account our budgetary means to keep the ship afloat!

I'd also like to mention Lorine Milanetto, our public relations manager, who goes out of her way to satisfy requests for tickets, Justine Labesse, our press officer, who puts our message across to the media, the whole technical team, Thomas, Sébastien, Roxane, Hugo, Julie, Anne, ... and also our reception team, hostesses and security guards.


Did you know that on average, for a Nuits Musicales concert, a total of 18 people work to ensure that everything runs smoothly?


Would you ever give up the stage to a musical? Don't you think that the summer setting of Les Nuits Musicales would lend itself perfectly to such a project?

Opera is an old dream, but to make it come true you need the right infrastructure. In other words, you need a venue designed for opera and we don't have one (yet?) in Uzès.

We do, however, give performances of this repertoire in space rather than on stage, such as Rossini's L'Italienne à Alger (The Italian Girl in Algiers) in the Cour du Duché in 2022, or extracts from Bernstein's West Side Story in the Cour de l'Evêché. This year it will be Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio.

What else would you like to say?

Quite simply, I'd like to say thank you. Thank all those who support Les Nuits Musicales d'Uzès, the local authorities, the patrons, the public who, by faithfully buying their concert tickets, are the biggest contributors and whose enthusiasm gives us the strength to continue our cultural activities.

I'd also like to pay tribute to the dedication and professionalism of the entire Festival team.

Logo nuits musicales d uzes 2024

Many thanks to Eric Desnoues, Director of the Nuits Musicales d'Uzès and Justine Labesse, Communications Manager, for their collaboration on this article and the visuals provided (Jeune orchestre baroque européen Sylvain Sartre (JOBE) 2023 ©Amaël Debord, Stefano di Battista Quintet, Stefano di Battista ©Giovanni Canitano).

Further details: Les Nuits Musicales d'Uzès, @nuits_musicales_uzes. Contact:, Tel: 06 82 88 70 55. For bookings.

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