The American Friends of the Château de Compiägne

New York


If you are an American visiting or living in Paris, please consider joining our spectacular dinner in the Galerie de Bal, preceded by a concert in the ThÇÉtre Louis-Philippe, with both music and menu inspired by the anniversary of the outbreak of the War of 1914-1918.
Individual tickets can be purchased. For further details please contact:

Now Reserving: Les SÇries de Compiägne 2014

There are still a few spaces left on this spectacular weekend. Please contact Charmaine Allegra at for details.

Upcoming Event: Les SÇries de Compiägne 2014


25th October 2014

First World War to be featured

To commemorate the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the concert in the ThÇÉtre Louis-Philippe before our Gala Dinner will feature rarely performed works with a 1914-1918 theme. Pieces from Haydn, Ravel, Debussy and Dvorak will be featured.

Formed in 1983 by four graduates of the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris, the Parisii Quartet won early acclaim with its triumphs at three major international competitions: Banff (1986), Munich (1987) and Evian (1987). Invitations followed from major concert halls and festivals all over the world, and the Parisii has since toured regularly throughout Europe, the United States, East Asia, South America, as well as Africa. Much in demand in Paris, the Parisii performed the entire Haydn cycle at the OpÇra Bastille, the Beethoven cycle at the Salle Gaveau and has appeared frequently at the MusÇe d’Orsay.

Noted for its performances of distinctive and unusual repertoire of the l8th, l9th, 20th and 21st centuries, the Parisii has distinguished itself with award-winning recordings of intriguing works by such French composers as Menu, PiernÇ, Tailleferre and Reynaldo Hahn, as well as the complete works for string quartet by Anton Webern. The Parisii also has recorded the eighteen string quartets of Milhaud, which won the Grand Prix de l’AcadÇmie Charles-Cros.

HOLD THIS DATE: October 24th to 26th

After the successful 2012 SÇries, we will organize a new event in 2014.image_006a

With a new twist, starting in Paris, we will visit not just Compiägne, but the house where Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America; and also the brand new and highly acclaimed Louvre Lens. This is the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, and we will also see the massive Canadian and British memorials near Lens.

Please click here for a .pdf of the itinerary, and here for a reservation form.

Past Event

Dinner in New York, 2013


On October 3rd, AFCDC held its inaugural New York dinner. We welcomed as our Guest of Honor, HIH Princess Napoleon. The Bonaparte family had a particularly close association with Compiägne during the reigns of both Napoleon I and Napoleon III, and the Princess spoke warmly and movingly of her affection for the Palace.

For a copy of the speech of HIH Princess Napoleon, please download here.

The theme of the dinner was inspired by the Empress Josephine, reflecting our work to restore her Ladies-in-Waiting Salon. A menu was chosen which reflected the “esprit de Josephine.”

Afterward, the assembled gathering was entertained to a small concert of music of the First Empire – possibly, we think, the first time many of the pieces have been performed in New York! In some cases, the sheet music itself was more or less unobtainable.

The dinner was attended by over 80 Friends, including those from North Carolina, and took place by courtesy of Bertrand Lortholary, the Consul General of France, at the Consulate General of France in New York. During the apÇritifs, Ambassador Craig Stapleton and Miles Young were inducted as Officier and Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des Lettres, by M. Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor of France in the United States.

Series 2012

In October of 2012, AFCDC hosted an inaugural visit to Compiägne where Les SÇries de Compiägne was revived. “Les SÇries” were outings in the autumn, where the cream of Paris society proceeded to Compiägne as guests of the Emperor NapolÇon III and Empress EugÇnie. They left the Gare du Nord in special trains, and spent a few days in conversation, hunting and “networking” – all under the close attention of the Imperial couple. At “Les SÇries de Compiägne 2012,” guests arrived in Paris on October 25th, where they were given a private tour of the MusÇe Nissim de Camondo and then treated to a cocktail reception at the Hôtel de Talleyrand afterwards, and dinner which was a tribute to Carême, Talleyrand’s chef.

From 1812 to 1838, this was home to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-PÇrigord, the famous diplomat, politician and wit. Bought by the US government in 1950, it was recently the subject of an ambitious and highly successful restoration. Guests were taken to Compiägne the following day and given exclusive tours around the château, as well as the forest and hunting grounds. The Gala Dinner in the Galerie de Bal of the château, on the 25th, was a particularly spectacular event. The guests were joined by a number of French guests, distinguished in the cultural and political fields.


PDF: For more information and to relive “Les SÇries de Compiägne 2012.” please download our newsletter.

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Upcoming Events at Compiägne

For information about any of these events below, please contact:
Exhibition: “Carrier-Belleuse, the Master of Rodin”
May 22, 2014 – October 27, 2014

Carrier BelleuseAlbert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) was one of the most celebrated and prolific sculptors of the Second Empire. Frothy and sensuous sculptures flowed from his atelier to ornament public buildings and private tables, from exhibitions into palaces and homes, his range of scale and styles could accommodate all occasions. He played a defining role in expanding the realm of the sculptor beyond the confines of the traditional atelier and into the processes of modernity. The scope of his ambitions and his accomplishments will be placed in the larger picture of the transformation of the mÇtier in the Golden Age of Sculpture, as the nineteenth century is often called. This major artist offers an exceptional look at the historical and social context of art around the time of the Second Empire. The exhibition will present around eighty pieces, including prestigious loans from MusÇe d’Orsay, MusÇe Rodin, Sävres-CitÇ de la CÇramique, the Metropolitan Museum and also private collections.

This exhibition was curated by June Hargrove, an American historian of art and specialist of the artist, and by Gilles Grandjean, curator in charge of the museum of the Second Empire at the Palace of Compiägne.

Exhibiton: “The Château de Compiägne in the First World War: 1914 – 1917: time of hardships”
November 9, 2014 – February 9, 2015

World War I photo

Two exhibitions will take place in order to celebrate the anniversary of the First World War: the first, devoted to “1914 – 1917: time of hardships” and the second in 2018: “1918 – 1919: time of peace.”

It will give a hint of the life of the Château during the First World War, when the residence was used as a hospital and a bomb shelter, then as the general headquarters.

This exhibitions is curated by Marc Desti, curator of the Grands Appartements, and Jean-Denys Devauges, curator of the Museum of Car and Carriage, both in the Palace of Compiägne.

Concert: “Fête de la Musique”
June 21, 2014

The Fête de la Musique was launched on June 21, 1982 on the Summer Solstice, at the initiative of Jack Lang, French Minister of Culture at the time. It began its expansion in 1985 with the European year of music. Less than 15 years later, Fête de la Musique took place on the five continents. This free and popular event promotes live music, both amateur and professional practices and all musical styles.

A special concert by the students of the Compiägne College of Music is planned in the Palace of Compiägne.

Concert: “Palais en Jazz: starring Thomas Dutronc and Michel Legrand”
June 27 – 28, 2014

Palais en JazzMixed by Essence, usually performed in cafÇs and clubs, more recently in concert halls, jazz follows its quest of renewal, by investing once a year the Royal and Imperial Palace.

Launched in 2012 with the wish of mixing styles, the festival “Palais en Jazz” allows the audience to discover or re-discover the Palace of Compiägne and its museum, where splendor meets simplicity, and art meets nature.

The Palace of Compiägne will welcome on June 27th and 28th the third edition of this famous jazz festival, starring Thomas Dutronc and Michel Legrand in the prestigious Honor Square of the residence. On June 26th, some activities and a concert are planned for pupils of schools near Compiägne.

Concert: “Les Automnales”

Artists and young talents will perform the most beautiful theme of classical music in the most grand stage of the Bal gallery of the Château de Compiägne.

This 9th edition is placed under the artistic direction of Claire DÇsert and Emmanuel Strosser and is notably starring the famous cellist Anne Gastinel.

Les Automnales