Musical Directors


Teaching the tenors how to “pull” a phrase!

Christophe JEAN-BAPTISTE is the musical director of the Grand Chœur ACJ since September 2016. He is a professional musicien with an intense and varied activity. He is the conductor of several choirs in the region, and is also an orchestral conductor. He is a composer, and musicologist, particularly appreciated for his conferences.

Christophe Jean-Baptiste believes that the practice of music should not be elitist, and he dedicates a lot of his time to teaching, in particular vocal technique, piano, and music theory.

A rehearsal of the Grand Choeur in 2017

He studied piano, musical analysis and composition, and at a early age decided to specialise in conducting and in orchestration, studying in the classes of Philippe CAILLARD and Michel CORBOZ. He has taught at the Conservatoire of Clermont-Ferrand, the Conservatoire  of Angoulême, and between 1986 and 1990 was the director of the Music School of Meylan in the outskirts of Grenoble.


Francine Bessac

Francine Bessac was the musical director of the Grand Chœur between 1960 et 2016.
Born into a musical family, Francine Bessac was a musician from an early age. While still a pupil at the lycée La Fontaine de Paris and the Conservatoire de Versailles, she discovered choral singing and the A Cœur Joie mouvement as a member of the Ensemble Vocal of Philippe Caillard.
En 1959, she obtained a post as music teacher in Grenoble. She joined the Grand Choeur and in 1960, became its musical director. Over the next decades she guided the choir away from its folksong repertoire towards a more important choral repertoire. The choir expanded rapidly to almost 100 members in the 1970s.

Francine en répétition
La Cheffe

In 1960 also, Francine Bessac created the chamber choir “l’Ensemble Vocal ACJ”.
An important figure in Grenoble musical life, Francine is at the origin of many other choirs in the Grenoble area, and for several years prepared concerts which grouped several choirs in order to sing major works with the Orchestra of Grenoble, for example the Verdi Requiem.

Francine in 2016; Farewell Concert with the Grand Chœur

Francine has also frequently performed as a soprano soloist, featuring also in some recordings (one of these; a recording of the “Te Deum” of Lully, under the baton of Jean-François Paillard, was awarded a “prix du disque” in 1974).

In 1985 Francine Bessac was awarded the silver medal of the National Direction of ” Jeunesse et des Sports”, and the gold medal of the city of Grenoble.

Although retired from the Grand Choeur, Francine continues to conduct the Ensemble Vocal