American Friends of Les Arts Florissants


The American Friends of Les Arts Florissants, a 501(c)3 charitable corporation, was established in 2012 to strengthen the ties between Les Arts Florissants and American audiences, musicians and singers.

By raising funds in the United States, the American Friends of Les Arts Florissants supports the full range of activities of Les Arts Florissants, including international and U.S. tours, concerts, recitals, recordings, events such as the Dans les Jardins de William Christie festival held annually in the Vendée region of France, and the development of a permanent artistic venue in the Vendée. The American Friends also help to provide training and education through various initiatives — including the annual Jardin des Voix program for young singers and the partnership with The Juilliard School in New York ― to preserve and disseminate European music of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Based in France, the internationally acclaimed Baroque vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants was founded in 1979 by Franco-American conductor William Christie. Under Christie’s extraordinary leadership and unparalleled artistic vision, Les Arts Florissants has played a pioneering role in rediscovering and reenergizing France’s Baroque repertoire, developing new French and American talent, and bringing exciting and fresh musical performances to a wide range of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. 



Facts about Les Arts Florissants

> The Ensemble has pioneered, researched, presented and expanded the audience for French Baroque music through more than 2,700 concerts, recitals and fully staged opera performances over 40 years. 171 of these have taken place in the United States, including nearly 100 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center.

> The Ensemble takes its name from the short opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Les Arts Florissants (The flourishing Arts).

A key ambassador for French culture, Les Arts Florissants is one of the most renowned and respected early music groups around the world.

Performances range from chamber music to full orchestra and opera featuring more than 70 musicians, singers, soloists and dancers.

Dedicated to performance on period instruments, the Ensemble is largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in 17th century French repertoire as well as in European music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and its research team regularly unearths and publishes lesser known 17th and 18th century French scores.

> More than 120 recordings and 22 DVDs are available.

Les Arts Florissants is led by a duo of experts: celebrated harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist and teacher William Christie is Co-director and Founder; and renowned tenor Paul Agnew is Co-director.

> William Christie’s Thiré estate and gardens, and extended projects in the Vendée region were recognized in 2017 as a Centre Culturel de Rencontre (Cultural Center). The new Fondation Les Arts Florissants – William Christie unites all of Les Arts Florissants and its activities into a vibrant resource for future generations.


Why you should become a friend of Les Arts Florissants 

Les Arts Florissants needs the additional support of generous donors like you to pursue its artistic and educational mission and strengthen its ties to the United States.

Becoming an American Friend is an investment in the future. It allows you to take a significant role in the organization’s activities and become part of a unique musical adventure. As an American Friend, you contribute to a vital cultural heritage, providing Americans — and performing arts lovers the world over — the opportunity to discover and enjoy the world-class performances of Les Arts Florissants and exquisite Baroque music. You support young talents and watch them grow into tomorrow’s rising stars, and ensure that the Ensemble continues to flourish, as its name suggests.

Where your donation goes

Your donations will fund Les Arts Florissants’ mission and outreach, along with its education programs, including:

  • Ongoing touring across North America and throughout the world, and creation of new concert programs and opera productions.
  • Les Arts Florissants’ unique collaboration with The Juilliard School, which builds bridges between Europe and the United States.
  • Development of a new generation of singers through Le Jardin des Voix, a coveted training program for young professional singers. Since 2002, it has provided 57 singers from 17 countries with their first major performing experience.
  • Assistance to Les Arts Flos Juniors, a program that enables students from International conservatories in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to join selected performances with the Orchestra or Chorus each season.
  • Presentation of Dans les Jardins de William Christie and development of the permanent artistic venue in the Vendée, which was recently granted the title of Centre Culturel de Rencontre. Since 2012, the summer music festival brings together Les Arts Florissants, students from The Juilliard School, Arts Flo Juniors and Le Jardin des Voix in the lush greenery of William Christie’s gardens, a French “Monument Historique”.

Every gift helps!

Make yours today and keep the passion for Baroque flourishing!

Visionaries (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) $50,000+

Leaders (1,2,3,4,5) ($25,000–$49,999)

Benefactors (1,2,3,4,5) ($10,000–$24,999)

Patrons (1,2,3) ($1,500–$9,999)

Supporters (1,2) ($500–$1,499)

Friends (1) ($100–$499)

1 Acknowledgement in all American Friends public materials (webpage for Friends level)
2 Priority invitations to American Friends special events/activities
3 Invitation to a dinner with William Christie or Paul Agnew
4 Customized service in planning annual visit to the Festival
5 Priority seating at concerts
6 Invitation to concert rehearsals
7 Priority invitation to Patron travel events

For further information, please call Pascal Nadon at 646-234-7088 or email pascal@pascalnadon.com


>> DOWNLOAD the brochure and reply form


American Friends of Les Arts Florissants


Françoise Girard, Chair
Susan L. Baker, Treasurer
Sydney H. Weinberg, Secretary 
Bruce Horten
Nizam Kettaneh
Paul LeClerc
Helen Little
Charles Price
Bernard Selz
Ex officio:
Noreen Buckfire, Chair, The Maestro’s Circle

Visionaries ($50,000+) 

Françoise Girard and David G. Knott
The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation 
The Selz Foundation
Sidney J. Weinberg Jr.
Foundation Anonymous

Leaders ($25,000+)

Susan Baker and Michael Lynch 
Bruce Horten
Nizam Kettaneh
Paul LeClerc and Judith Ginsberg
Helen and William Little
Peter Marino
Charles and Jessie Price
The Versailles Foundation, Inc

Benefactors ($10,000+) 

Noreen and Kenneth Buckfire
Joan Granlund
The Kovner Foundation
Monika McLennan
David Schwartz Foundation

Patrons ($1,500+)

Joan Hardy Clark
Norman Benzaquen
Paul and Carol Collins
Marina Couloucoundis
Marifé Hernández and Joel Bell 
Alice and David Hunt
John Lipsky
James C. Marlas and Marie Nugent-Head Marlas
Katharine Rayner
Theodore C. and Elizabeth B. Rogers
Eileen Rosenau
Beatrice Santo Domingo
Stephen Simcock and Daniel Mendelsohn
Sarah Billinghurst Solomon
Beatrice Stern
Cornelia and Erik Thomsen
Wellington D. Watters

Supporters ($500+) 

Margery Arent Safir
Candace and Frederick Beinecke
The Estate of Elward Bresett
Diane Britz Lotti
Nicolas Chambeyron
Donald Crawshaw and Matthew Hoffman
Joseph Disponzio
Marilyn and Lawrence Friedland
James Goldschmidt
Susan Gutfreund
Rolf Heitmeyer
Stephanie Stokes
Elizabeth Tunick
Cathy and Peter Halstead
Dominique Laffont
Susan and Jon Rotenstreich
William Ryall and Barry Bergdoll
Margriet Van Houtte and Ferdinand Verdonck 

This list includes all support received from December 11, 2021 to December 19, 2022


The Maestro's Circle

The Maestro’s Circle was launched on the occasion of Les Arts Florissants’ 40th Anniversary in 2019. Circle members commit to support for three years with annual donations of at least $5,000 (a total of at least $15,000 over three years which includes special events support). These gifts help Les Arts Florissants to maintain artistic excellence over a multi-year horizon.

In appreciation, Maestro’s Circle members receive the benefits outlined below.

1. Acknowledgement in all American Friends public materials.

2. Priority invitations to American Friends special events and activities.

3. Invitation to a dinner each year with William Christie and/or Paul Agnew.

4. Customized service in ticketing and in planning visits to the Festival.

5. Performance of Les Arts Florissants dedicated annually to Members of The Maestro’s Circle.

6. Invitation to a “Rehearsal and Reception” annually.


Noreen Buckfire, Chair, The Maestro’s Circle
Susan Baker and Michael Lynch
Mercedes T. Bass 
Norman Benzaquen 
Dunard Fund USA 
Marina Couloucoundis 
Michel and Hélène David-Weill
Robert Fisher
Françoise Girard and David G. Knott
The Florence Gould Foundation
Joan Granlund
Bruce Horten and †Aaron Lieber
The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation
Nizam Kettaneh
The Kovner Foundation
Paul LeClerc and Judith Ginsberg
Helen and William Little
Peter Marino
James C. Marlas and Marie Nugent-Head Marlas
Charles and Jessie Price
Katharine Rayner
The Selz Foundation
Stephen Simcock and Daniel Mendelsohn
The Versailles Foundation, Inc.
Wellington D. Watters
Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation

†In Memoriam