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Changing of the guard

Benjamin Levy: the new artistic director of the Orchestre de Cannes PACA. Copyright Celine LeporrierNew faces for a new year: Georges-François Leclerc has assumed his new role as Prefect for the Alpes-Maritimes; Jean-Pierre Savarino has been elected President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Nice-Côte d’Azur region; and Benjamin Levy has taken the baton as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor for the Orchestre Régional de Cannes PACA.

Georges-François Leclerc: Prefect for the Alpes-Maritimes

“I’d define myself as a humble man,” said Leclerc of his appointment as Préfet des Alpes-Maritimes, “but a proud prefect. Who am I, what am I like, what will I do… These are all questions put to a new prefect, but I will not answer them. I would like to be judged on my actions rather than proclamations.”

At 50 years of age, Leclerc has already held a number of similar positions in Aude near the Spanish border and in the Haute-Savoie region, close to Geneva. Originally from Bourguignon in eastern France, Leclerc has a diverse background and has held several high ranking offices prior to his ascension as prefect on the French Riviera, notably within the cabinet of then-ecology minister Roselyne Bachelot (2002) and the cabinet for interior minister Claude Guéant under Nicolas Sarkozy (2011-2). He succeeds Adolphe Colrat in the Alpes-Maritimes post.

Jean-Pierre Savarino: President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Nice-Côte d’Azur

In late November, Savarino was elected as the 29th president for the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie. At a press conference in which he unveiled his team, Savarino revealed his plans for the future of the CCI, saying: “My vision for the CCI is one of an institution open to innovation and one that takes the initiative and, sometimes, risks. [It] will devote itself to transparency, breaking down barriers, flexibility, planning and reactivity.” Savarino added that he will be working towards a number of goals during his term as president, such as: assisting businesses grow and develop; push forwards motions that will benefit commerce, industry and service providers in the region; investing in the ports and affiliated training schemes; supporting large-scale developments such as public transport and the construction of new housing; and reinforcing the economic attractiveness of the Côte d’Azur to the global community.

Benjamin Levy: Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestre Régional de Cannes PACA

French musician and conductor Levy has been commissioned by the orchestra for a three-year term, succeeding Wolfgang Doerner and Philippe Bender at the head of the Cannes ensemble. Benjamin Levy studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon (First Prize in percussion) and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris (Prize in analysis and conducting). He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen (USA) and at the Academia Chigiana of Siena, Italy. In 2005, the French Union of Music and Theatre Critics awarded Levy the Music Revelation Award of the Year and three years later, he also won the ADAMI Young Conductor Award and two Diapason d’Or for his video recording with the opera company Les Brigands. Since then, Benjamin Levy has been very active in both concert halls and opera houses in Europe. He first encountered the Cannes-based orchestra in late 2016 and will host the first concert of 2017 on 13th January with pianists Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes (Théâtre Debussy).