Wilhem Latchoumia

Wilhem Latchoumia is unique in the field of music. He embraces both new music and classical repertoire with as much success as charisma. The way he creates original programs is therefore seen by many as his signature. In the meantime, he has this strong and jubilant bond with the audience.

In France, he has performed on numerous occasions at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Opéra Comique, the Cité de la Musique, the CENTQUATRE, the Théâtre d’Orléans, the Musée d’Orsay Auditorium, Toulouse Capitole, Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Dijon Operas, as well as the Fondation Royaumont. He has also been invited by international festivals such as Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, La Roque d’Anthéron, Besançon and Aix-en-Provence, and has close relationship with Strasbourg-Musica, the Festival Messian au Pays de la Meije, Musiques en scène Biennale in Lyon (GRAME), Lille Piano(s) Festival and more…

Abroad, audiences enjoy his performances in many festivals and venues such as London Barbican Centre, Liege Philharmonic Hall, Brussels BOZAR and Brugge Concertgebouw, the Institute For Contemporary Performance (Mannes College) in New York City, the Beijing Modern Music Festival and Shanghai Electronik Music Week, as well as Buenos Aires Encuentros Festival, the Retour au Pays Natal festival in Martinique, in Italy (Gubbio Summer Festival and Traiettorie festival in Parma), Berlin (Young Euro Classic Festival), San Sebastian (Quincena musical)…

He will make his debuts at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik next spring.

International tours have taken him to Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, China, Corea, USA and South America.

As a soloist, Wilhem Latchoumia has performed with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Pascal Rophé, Joshua Dos Santos), the Orchestre National de Lille (Paul Polivnik, Benjamin Shwartz, Yann Robin), the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (Grieg’s concerto, 2017) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (Peter Rundel) in Unsuk Chin’s piano concerto – which he had premiered in France with the Orchestre National de Lille (Jean Deroyer). He played Strauss’ Burlesque with the Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France (Ainars Rubikis) and Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles with the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Aquitaine (Jean-François Heisser). He has also performed under the direction of Gilbert Amy, Peter Csaba, with the Rostow Symphony orchestra (Andrei Galanov), Liège (Christian Arming), Seoul and Daejean philharmonic orchestras, as well as Teatro Colon orchestra. Among his partners: the Tokyo Sinfonietta (Yasuaki Itakura), the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (Daniel Kawka), Ictus, 2e2m, Accroche Note and Linea ensembles, violist Christophe Desjardins, Diotima and Tana Quartets, pianists Marie Vermeulin, Vanessa Wagner and Cédric Tiberghien…

Wilhem Latchoumia is one of the most sought-after performers: his passion for contemporary music has led him to collaborate with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Philippe Hersant, Gérard Pesson, Gilbert Amy, Pierre Jodlowski, Franck Bedrossian, Samuel Sighicelli, Michael Jarrell, Jonathan Harvey, Oscar Bianchi, Francesco Filidei, Karl Naegelen, José Manuel Lopez-Lopez, Mikel Urquiza… He has inspired and performed a new production supported by the Fondation Royaumont around John Cage’s Daughters of the lonesome Isle, which toured in France and abroad. He loves taking part in choreographic projects; the next one will be Achterland, a production by Rosas / Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker.

“Extase Maxima”, Wilhem Latchoumia’s CD released in 2014, was recorded during a long tour supported by Palazzetto Bru Zane. Devoted to Wagner and his transcribers, it has launched his collaboration with French label La Dolce Volta. Awarded by a Choc (“Classica”) and a Maestro (“Pianiste”), this CD followed two critically-acclaimed recordings: “Piano and Electronic Sounds” (Sisyphe) rewarded by a Choc (“Monde de la Musique”) and “Impressoes” (Sony BMG / RCA), dedicated to Villa-Lobos (a.o.) that won a Choc as well, a Diapason d’or and the Audio Clasica magazine « best recording » award. He joined the Diotima Quartet for a CD devoted to composer Miroslav Srnka, released by naïve in March 2016.

Wilhem Latchoumia’s latest solo recording is devoted to Manuel de Falla’s piano work (La Dolce Volta, 2016), for which he obtained 5 Diapasons, a Maestro from the magazine Pianiste and Télérama’s well-known FFFF.

Wilhem Latchoumia studied at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse in Lyon (Eric Heidsieck’s and Géry Moutier’s classes) where he was awarded the first Prize with unanimous jury congratulations. He completed his training with Géry Moutier in perfection classes. Then he studied with Claude Helffer and benefited from Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen’s and Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s master classes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in musicology and has received several prizes and awards, including the Hewlett-Packard Foundation, the 12th Montsalvatge International Piano Competition, the First prize with Special Distinction Blanche Selva, as well as five other prizes of the 2006 Orléans International Piano Competition.

 

“His capacity to slip between the different spaces of a music, is combined with the ability to read between the lines of a score. Thus, he delivers Crumb’s Nocturnal Fantasia with clearness that will be the privilege of Liszt’s legacy (Nuages Gris, Funérailles), and the festal flights of fancy of Villa-Lobos (Ciclo Brasileiro)”

Pierre Gervasoni | Le Monde (August 23, 2007)

 

“The summit is reached with Archipel IV by André Boucourechliev. A contemporary work, reputed to be difficult but which the pianist invites us to devour like a detective novel.”

Olivier Bellamy | Le Parisien (August 19, 2007)

 

“We can’t resist Latchoumia’s charismatic breath, nor his poetry!”

Alain Cochard | Concertclassic (April 12, 2007)

 

“A brilliant young pianist: a dramatic elegance, a pallet of sounds, a supple and franc touch”

Télérama (November 2006)

 

Alexander Malofeev

Young “Russian genius” (Corriere della Sera) came to international prominence when, in 2014, he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at the age of thirteen. “Contrary to what could be expected of a youngster …, he demonstrated not only high technical accuracy but also an incredible maturity. Crystal clear sounds and perfect balance revealed his exceptional ability” (Amadeus). Malofeev has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

Alexander’s recent appearances include a 2019 Asia tour with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala under Riccardo Chailly, with the Mariinsky Orchestra commemorating in St. Petersburg the 175th anniversary of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, concerts at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and with the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Maestro Riccardo Chailly said about the pianist: “I first heard Malofeev when Valery Gergiev performed with him at the Teatro alla Scala three years ago. He was only 14, and he amazed me with his talent. Because that is not just a child prodigy: he is very young, but already possesses depth and technical abilities, and also musical and mnemonic, which makes him an excellent interpreter of the 3rd Concert of Rachmaninov, which is a problem for many pianists in the world.” (Corriere della Sera, October 2019).

Alexander was born in Moscow in October 2001. The pianist graduated from the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music in the class of Elena Berezkina. In 2019, Alexander entered the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He studied under professor Sergei Dorensky in 2019-2020.

Alexander Malofeev performs with the world’s best known orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra,  Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala,  RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, State Chamber Orchestra “Moscow Virtuosi”, Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, Baltic Sea Philharmonic orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of  Russia and the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Alexander gives concerts in Amsterdam in Concertgebouw, where he opened the 30th anniversary concert of the renowned Meester Pianists series, Teatro alla Scala (Milan), Kurhaus Wiesbaden (Germany), Munich Herkulessaal (Germany), Philharmonie de Paris, Theater of the Champs-Elysees (France), Kurhaus Wiesbaden (Germany),  Auditorium Parco della Musica in Roma, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Australia), Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, National Centre for the Performing Arts (China), Kaufman Music Center, Mariinsky Theatre and Moscow (the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory).

Alexander Malofeev regularly appears with the most distinguished conductors on a stage today, including Valery Gergiev, Riccardo Chailly, Mikhail Pletnev, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Susanna Mälkki,  Alondra de la Parra, Marcelo Lehninger,  Juraj Valcuha, Kazuki Yamada, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Kristjan Jarvi,  Vladimir Spivakov, Alexander Sladkovsky, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vasily Petrenko and others.

Malofeev is a guest of world famous music festivals such as International de Piano de La Roque d’Anthéron Festival, La Folle Journée de Nantes and Chopin Festival in France, Rheingau Music Festival (Germany), Merano Music Festival (Italy), Denis Matsuev’s «Crescendo» Festival,  Valery Gergiev’s «Mikkeli Music Festival» (Finland) , Mariinsky International Piano Festival (St. Petersburg),  Master Pianist Series (Amsterdam), «Stars on Baikal» International Music Festival, International Winter Festival «Arts Square» directed by Yuri Temirkanov (St. Petersburg), Festival of Larisa Gergieva,  Eilat Chamber Music Festival in Israel, International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo in Italy and Stars of the White Nights Festival in Russia.

In addition to his 1st prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, he has won numerous awards and prizes at international competitions and festivals, including the Grand Prix of the International Competition for Young Pianists Grand Piano Competition, the Premio Giovane Talento Musicale dell’anno 2017 and Best Young Musician of 2017. Also in 2017, Alexander became the first Young Yamaha Artist. In 2019, he received a second prize at the China International Music Competition.

In the spring of 2020, the Sony Classical Label will release the CD on the 180th anniversary of P. Tchaikovsky with the record of Tchaikovsky 1st Concerto performed by Alexander Malofeev with the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Sladkovsky.

This season sees Alexander perform with the New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with Patrick Summers, La Scala Orchestra and Lucerne Festival Orchestra with Riccardo Chailly, Münchner Symphoniker, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo, Prague Philharmonia, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi with Robert Treviño, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra.  

He performs recitals at Tonhalle in Zurich, La Seine musicale in Paris, Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi” in Milan, Teatro della Pergola in  Florence, Boston Celebrity Series, Tilburg Recital Series and Vancouver Recital Society in Canada.

Alexander Malofeev participates in international music festivals such as Ravinia festival, Festival Napa Valley, Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Festival in California , Lucerne Festival and Festival La Folle Journée de Nantes.

Iddo Bar-Shaï

Born in 1977, Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shai trained at the Rubin Academy of Music (Tel-Aviv University) with Bracha Ornan-Margalit and then with Pnina Salzman – a former student of Alfred Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique and First Prize in the class of Magda Tagliaferro at the Conservatoire de Paris. He also benefited from the teaching of Alexis Weissenberg. Fellow of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (1988-1999), he has been the winner of numerous national and international competitions.

 

He is now pursuing his international career in Europe, Asia, Brazil and the United States, in particular on the prestigious stages of the Wigmore Hall (London), the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), the Opera City Hall (Tokyo), Beijing Zhongshan Hall and Fredric R. Mann Auditorium (Tel Aviv).

 

Partner in chamber music of the Ysaÿe, Aviv, Ebène, Modigliani or American String Quartets, he has been playing with orchestra since the age of twelve, among others with the English Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel, the Lille National Orchestra, the Paris Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Aldo Ceccato, Eliahu Inbal, Sir Lawrence Foster, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Kaspar Zehnder, Günter Pichler …

 

Invited by Martha Argerich as part of the Martha Argerich Project in Lugano, Iddo Bar-Shai has been playing every year at the Roque d’Anthéron Festival since 2004. He participated in the Festival and the Verbier Academy, on the Steans Institute program. of the Ravinia Festival (USA), the Meslay Barn Festival, the Menton Festival, the Radio France Music Festival in Montpellier, the international chamber music festival in Jerusalem (in Berlin and Jerusalem) as well as than at the Festival de la Folle Journée in Nantes, Lisbon, Tokyo, Warsaw and Rio de Janeiro.

 

Iddo Bar-Shaï was selected by “Dominicans of Haute-Alsace” as artist-in-residence during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. In this context, he collaborated with the ombromane Philippe Beau to the project “The Wandering Shadows” with keyboard works by François Couperin. This show has been acclaimed by the press and a world tour is planned.

 

This season is marked by a collaboration with the famous pianist Menahem Pressler, with the performance of Mozart’s double piano concerto and a collaboration with the famous pianist Martha Argerich, with the performance of Bach’s concerto for 4 pianos as well as by chamber music concerts with Alisa Weilerstein, Vilde Frang, Anna Prohaska, Sayaka Shoji …

 

His concerts have been recorded and broadcast by several European, American and Israeli radio stations. Several concerts have been broadcast on the television channels Mezzo, Arte and NHK. It also appears on the DVD “The Pianos of Tomorrow” (Naïve / Ideal Audience) with the cooperation of channels ARTE and France-3.

 

His Haydn piano CD, released in 2006 under the Mirare label, won praise from the press. With “5 tuning forks” from Diapason magazine, it has been described as “one of the best recordings ever devoted to Haydn’s piano work” by the World of Music and, by the magazine Piano International, as “an extraordinary record; the acquisition of this CD is de rigueur for all lovers of classical repertoire “and also” This superb recital announces the arrival of a talented pianist who joins his elders, Curzon and Larrocha in Andante, Brendel and Gould for sonatas “by Classica Répertoire. This CD has also been selected and awarded by numerous magazines and radio stations, notably by the magazine International Piano, which has chosen it among the three CDs to receive the “rising star prize for a first recording” as part of the Prize International Piano Festival 2006. In December 2008 his last Chopin mazurkas CD was released by Mirare. He has received unanimous praise in the world with the highest ratings from prestigious newspapers such as Le Figaro and Fonoforum in Germany and has been described as a “magnificent achievement; and confirmation of a new great talent for the current keyboard “(online magazine Classic-news) and” A singular and major record “(Le Devoir). His latest CD released in 2013, entirely devoted to François Couperin’s works, was judged as “a Couperin record as fascinating as the Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould.”

Opus HD magazine, and “a record that attracts, demonstrating that Couperin’s works are as viable on modern piano, and where Bar Shai does a splendid job. You can not go wrong with such an interpretation, finely nuanced and expressive. Fanfare magazine.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Award-winning pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet enjoys a prolific recording and international concert career. He regularly works with orchestras such as The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and NHK Symphony orchestras, and collaborates with conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Jurowski, Gianandrea Noseda, François-Xavier Roth, Nicholas Collon, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Edward Gardner, and Sir Andrew Davis among others.

Highlights of Bavouzet’s 2019/20 season include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Budapest Festival Orchestra, a tour of the UK with the Iceland Symphony under Yan Pascal Tortelier and he performs all of the Beethoven piano concerti with the Orchestre National de Lyon. He will also return to Toronto and Seattle symphonies, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and embarks on a tour of Australia to include Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.

Bavouzet will play/direct two Beethoven programmes with both the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo.  As part of the Post Classical Ensemble’s Haydn Festival in Washington DC, Bavouzet will be presented in recital and concerto and will also give recitals at the Maestro Foundation in Santa Monica and Moscow International Performing Arts Center.

Recent performances include New York’s Lincoln Center with the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonie de Paris with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Nicholas Collon, and Les Siécles and François-Xavier Roth. In summer 2019 he appeared at the Verbier festival, collaborating with artists such as Daniel Hope and Thomas Hampson, and the Ravello festival where he play/directed the Cherubini Orchestra.

Bavouzet records exclusively for Chandos and his recording of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Bergen Philharmonic under Edward Gardner was nominated for a Gramophone Award. Ongoing cycles include a five year project to perform and record the complete Mozart Piano Concertos with the Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy as well as the complete Haydn Piano Sonatas. His complete Prokofiev Piano Concertos with BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda won the Concerto category of the 2014 Gramophone Awards.

Other recordings include Bartók’s Piano Concerto’s with the BBC Philharmonic and Noseda, and Stravinsky’s Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo under Yan-Pascal Tortelier. Also with Tortelier, Bavouzet’s recording of the Ravel Piano concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra won both a Gramophone and BBC magazine award. Bavouzet’s recordings have garnered other Gramophone Awards and BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and Choc de l’année.

Bavouzet has worked closely with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Kurtág, Maurice Ohana and Bruno Mantovani and is also a champion of lesser-known French music, notably that of Gabriel Pierné and Albéric Magnard. He is the International Chair in Piano at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2012 he was ICMA Artist of the Year and in 2008, he was awarded Beijing’s first ever Elite Prize for his Beethoven complete sonata series.

Rafal Blechacz

After thirteen years since the victory in the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005 he has achieved a position of the truly world-famous artist. His outstanding talent has been appreciated by the audiences of Europe, America, Asia, by music critics, great conductors and famous symphony orchestras, record producers, managers and artistic agencies organizing concerts in the most famous concert halls and in the largest music centres.
Last ten years of Rafał Blechacz’s career was filled with the solo recitals as well as concerts performed with the symphony orchestras. First of all however, it was time of intensive work on expanding his repertoire. Winning the Grand Prix, the Gold Medal and all of the other awards possible, namely for the best performance of mazurkas, polonaise, concerto, sonata (the latter founded by Krystian Zimerman) and also the audience award he unquestionably has been recognized as his generation’s greatest performer of Chopin’s works.
In such a role the international audiences wanted to hear and know him better as he never lets them down being able to win people over and gain their affection and appreciation. To meet these demands the young artist embarks on numerous and often long artistic tours. After all, the title of the Chopin Piano Competition Winner carries the meaning and importance. Everyone everywhere would like to listen to him and experience a talent of someone who amidst tough rivalry before distinguished jury proved to be the best one. One can only mention here that the young Polish pianist was definitely head and shoulders above the large and strong – as it is always the case in Warsaw – group of competitors. To emphasize his superiority the jury has not awarded the second prize but only the third and subsequent ones.
The aforementioned artist’s intensive work on developing his repertoire refers of course to Chopin but it is hard to imagine that the pianist of such a rank would not perform works by other composers. Therefore his repertoire is being continuously enlarged with works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Debussy and Szymanowski. From among them the programs of the artist’s albums recorded and released by Deutsche Grammophon (currently five) have been selected.
The American Gilmore Artist Award, sometimes called ”the Piano Nobel,” bestowed on Rafal Blechacz in January 2014, is a strong and meaningful acknowledgment that summarizes well the last decade of his artistic activity.

Rafał Blechacz was born in 1985 in Nakło nad Notecią. He started playing piano at the age of five. He studied in the Artur Rubinstein State Primary School of Music in Bydgoszcz under the supervision of Professor Jacek Polański. In 2007 he completed the piano studies in the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz in class of Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. Still a student, he received many awards and honours such as the 1st Prize and Grand Prix in the 13th Johann Sebastian Bach National Competition in Gorzów Wielkopolski (1996), the 2nd Prize in the 5th Artur Rubinstein International Competition for Young Pianists in Bydgoszcz (2002), the victory in the 5th International Piano Competition in Hamamatsu, Japan (2003).
As the winner of the Grand Prix of the 15th Chopin Piano Competition he started concertizing in the most prestigious venues such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein in Vienna, Berliner Philharmonie, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Herkulessaal in Munich, Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Royal Festival Hall as well as the Wigmore Hall in London, Tonhalle in Zurich, La Scala in Milan, among others. He is being invited to the best music festivals such as Salzburg, Verbier in Switzerland, La Roque-d’Anthéron (France), Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany as well as The Gilmore Festival in the USA. He plays with numerous symphony orchestras, cooperating with outstanding conductors like Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Pavo Järvi, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagono, Andris Nelsons, Victor Pablo Perez, Trevor Pinnock, Mikhail Pletnev, Jerzy Semkow, Antoni Wit and Dawid Zinman. In 2006 he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, the German record company. He is the second in history, after Krystian Zimerman, Polish pianist signed up by this prestigious label.
Rafal Blechacz’s first album with Fryderyk Chopin’s Preludes appeared in 2007. In Poland it obtained the platinum status just in the second week of sale. It has been honoured with many awards, among others by German Echo Klassik and French Diapason d’Or. The next album, this time with sonatas of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, was released one year later and again it was received very well. After the success of the two first albums the artist celebrated the Chopin’s Year of 2010 with the recording of both Chopin’s Piano Concerts conducted by Jerzy Semkow and legendary Concertgebouw Orchestra, proclaimed in 2009 by the British magazine Gramophone the best orchestra of the world. This time the already third album of Rafał Blechacz was honoured with Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the prestigious award of critics from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In Poland it obtained the double platinum status in the short period of time. The next recording with works by Debussy and Szymanowski, due to a thoughtful selection of the repertoire, as well as masterful performance, gained significant publicity and recognition among the international music critics. In 2012 the Deutsche Phono Akademie awarded Blechacz the Echo Klassik prize in category of the Best Solo Album of the Year (19th and 20th century). Furthermore, this same recording was honoured as the Album of the Month by the British magazine Gramophone. It was also recognized with the Polish phonographic Fryderyk Award as the best classical music album of 2013. In the fall of 2013 Rafał Blechacz returned to Chopin’s repertoire recording his seven grand polonaises. This album obtained the gold record status on the first day of sale. Soon after, it was honoured with Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik as the best album in the category Piano music (2013).
In July 2010 Rafał Blechacz received the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Siena) award for his overall artistic achievements bestowed on him by the international jury of music critics. In January 2014 in New York he was pronounced the winner of The Gilmore 2014 award, highly valued in the piano world, conferred every four years on the most outstanding artist to provide financial support for advancing his/her artistic career.
On February 24, 2015 in Warsaw during the concert in the Warsaw Philharmonic Rafal Blechacz received the President of the Republic of Poland’s medal Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta awarded during the concert at the National Philharmonic.

In February 2017 was released his album with works by Johann Sebastian Bach ‘ . . [a] superb Bach collection mostly of well known works including the “Italian Concerto” and the Hess arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. Exquisite, crystalline pianism, and impeccable performances. This is an outstanding addition to Blechacz’s discography’ – Robert E. Benson, Classicalcdreview.com / 01. March 2017

 

 

 

François Dumont

Born in Lyon, France pianist François Dumont’s international career was launched by his prize-winning successes at the Chopin, Queen Elisabeth, Clara Haskil, and Monte Carlo Piano Masters competitions.  At the age of fourteen, he entered the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique and studied with Bruno Rigutto.  He subsequently studied at the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como with artists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, William Grant Naboré, Murray PerahiaMenahem Pressler, and Andreas Staier. He studied as a Theo Lieven Scholar in the Lugano Conservatory.

 

Mr. Dumont has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the world such as the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National de Lorraine, the Orquesta Nacional de Colombia, and the Wuhan Philharmonic with conductors such as Christoph Altstaedt, Arie van Beek, Philippe Bender, Grant Llewellyn, Jesùs Lopez-Cobos, David Reiland, François-Xavier Roth, Stefan Sanderling, Alexander Sladkovsky, Leonard Slatkin, Ransom Wilson, and Antoni Wit.  He also regularly appears at festivals such as Festival International de la Roque d’Anthéron, the ‘Piano aux Jacobins’ Festival in Toulouse, Chopin Festival in Nohant, Radio-France Montpellier Festival, Chopin à Paris Bagatelle Festival, “Chopin and his Europe” Festival in Warsaw, Nuits du Suquet in Cannes, Journées Ravel in Montfort l’Amaury, Round Top Festival, and the Ljubljana Festival.

 

During the 2018-19 season, Francois Dumont toured Italy with Les Siècles Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth, performing both the Franck and Ravel concertos. He made his debut at the Paris Philharmonie in February 2019 performing Schumann Piano Concerto with the Orchestre Pasdeloup and Christoph Altstaedt, conducting.  He also toured cities in France with the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 “Jeunehomme.” Other concerts during the season took him to Taiwan, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium and Russia.

 

François Dumont’ discography includes the complete Mozart Sonatas (for Anima Records) and a Chopin album (for Artalinna) both of which received the “Maestro” award from the French magazine Pianiste.  Other solo recordings include a Wagner/Liszt program (Piano Classics) as well as a live double CD that includes all his performances from the Chopin Competition, released by the National Chopin Institute in Warsaw. His recording of the complete piano music of Maurice Ravel (Piano Classics) has received critical acclaim.  Two volumes of keyboard works by J.S. Bach called “Looking for B.A.C.H” on the Artalinna label were released in 2015 and 2017, respectively of which the French critic Jacques Drillon wrote “coherence, dignity, richness of affects. One thinks of Edwin Fisher.”  His recording of Mozart Concerti K. 271 and K.466 with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne have been praised for their “clarity of elocution”, their “ideal sense of equilibrium” and “delightful classicism”.  His collaboration with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne continued with live recordings of Mozart Concerti K.453 and K.488 which he conducted from the keyboard.  His latest album, the complete Chopin Nocturnes, was praised by the BBC Music Magazine for his “singing tone” and the International Piano Magazine considers it “a stunning new version that sets him apart”, while the American magazine Fanfare wrote “There are few recent recordings to compare with this one.”

 

Leonard Slatkin chose Mr. Dumont as the soloist to record a CD of the two Ravel Piano Concerti with the Orchestre National de Lyon, which will be released on the Naxos label in September 2019.

 

Chamber music is an important part of Mr. Dumont’s musical life and performances.  He frequently collaborates with musical partners such as Tabea Zimmerman; Augustin DumayHenri Demarquette; Xavier Philipps; the Prazak, Sine Nomine, Talich, Zemlinsky, Voce and Debussy Quartets.  He is also a member of the Trio Élégiaque with Virginie Constant and Philippe Aïche, with whom he recorded the complete Beethoven and Schubert Trios.

The 2019-20 season takes him to South America, China, Japan, Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland and Spain, besides recital tours in France.

Critics
Dumont, capace di dominare la materia sonora. Davvero degna di nota la presa del suono. Dinamica precisa, dotata di una sua naturalezza e debita velocità […]
Andrea Bedetti, Music Voce*****  2018
With bell-like melodic lines, Dumont elicits a singing tone from the piano. Emotions are to the fore, without the undue histrionics of many Chopin performances.
(OC) ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine, 2018
[…] the rising French pianist François Dumont with a stunning new version […] a clarity, momentum and coherence that immediately grab the ear. His controlled pianissimos imbue the melodies with tender sweetness.
Michael Johnson, International Piano **** 2018
François Dumont’s first issued recordings included a complete set of Mozart sonatas, certainly an unusual opening set. He has been honored in some of the most prestigious piano competitions. I was amused that he was also awarded the “Prix de la Révélation” from a group of French critics. I am not sure what other revelations he is credited with, but he is a wonderful Chopin player, graceful and coherent, expressive and at the same time rhythmically secure. It’s a matter not of avoiding rubato or other expressive gestures, but of making them fit the whole. I just heard the Nocturne in A♭, op. 32/2, and note the beautifully rounded ending of the work, pause and all. He plays the Nocturne, op. 48/1, with the utmost sobriety: It’s a dark-toned work and Dumont renders its particular drama, with its occasional near explosiveness and tenderness, remarkably. His performance of the posthumous Nocturne in C♯ Minor begins in almost otherworldly fashion: There are few recent recordings to compare with this one. He also plays the more forthright Nocturne in C Minor, also posthumous, equally is clearly and warmly recorded.
Fanfare 2018

Duo Jatekok

It was in 2007 that Nairi Badal and Adélaïde Panaget officially formed their duo and, on the advice of Claire Désert, performed a contemporary piece by Kurtág: Játékok. This work which would crystallise their harmony together consists of short lyrical miniatures that are meditative, full of feeling and sensitivity. Jatekok, meaning “game” in Hungarian, an idea that would become their signature.

 Winners of two major international piano duo competitions, in Rome in 2011 and Ghent in 2013, trained by N. Angelich, B. Engerer and even the Artemis Quartet, they have built up a repertoire that reflects their dynamism and expressiveness. Their first album, Danses (Dances), released under the Mirare label in 2015, has been unanimously hailed by the press and the duo is going to present it at major festivals and on great classical music stages: the Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron, Les Folles Journées in Nantes, the Warsaw Opera House, the Cité de la Musique (City of Music) in Paris, Flagey in Brussels, the Dvorak Museum in Prague, the Borsellino Theatre in Sicily, and even the Auditorium Del Massimo in Rome.

Their second album, titled The Boys and released in 2018 through Alpha Classics, is a tribute to the American piano duet of Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale. They intertwine elements of the modern and classic repertoires. Adélaïde and Naïri aim to enlarge the melomaniacs array of music and to draw their curiosity. Thanks to this new setlist, they have been invites to play at the Seine musicale in Paris, at the Pisno festival in Lille and also in Belgium and China.

Invited to play by the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Malaisia Orchestra, Guatemala Orchestra and the Sinfonia Varsovia, they have had more and more musical encounters. Beyond performing classical pieces in front of well-informed audiences, Duo Jatekok like to share their love for an art form which is sometimes not easily accessible for the majority of people. They thus take many opportunities to connect with the public in original ways, whether through taking the mic to explain the origin of a piece or a composer’s history, performing the Nutcracker with sand artist Marina Sosnina, or even bringing the Little Prince to life together with the actor Julien Cottereau.

 Nairi Badal and Adélaïde Panaget find a way to reach audiences who recognise their sincerity, unaffectedness, talent and authenticity. Jatekok: playing the piano, four hands, two pianos, classic, contemporary, with the public, with other musicians, and other artists. The essence of the Duo is the playing itself.

Till Fellner

Austrian pianist Till Fellner’s international career was launched in 1993 when he won First Prize at the renowned Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland. Over a period of more than two
decades, he has become a sought-after guest with many of the world’s most important orchestras and at the major music centres of Europe, USA and Japan, as well as numerous festivals.

During the 2017-18 season Till Fellner will debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. Other highlights will include concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Le Concert Olympique, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Last season Till Fellner amongst others performed with the Symphony Orchestras from Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Montreal, Vienna, with the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Philharmonia Orchestra London.

Till Fellner has collaborated with Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Kirill Petrenko, Claudius Traunfellner, and Hans Zender, among many others.

In the field of chamber music Till Fellner regularly collaborates with British tenor Mark Padmore, with whom he premiered a composition by Hans Zender in 2016 and with whom he toured Japan in February 2017. This collaboration will be continued in 2017-18 (amongst others with Lieder recitals in Vienna and Salzburg). Further he regularly performs with the Belcea Quartet.

Over the past few years he has dedicated himself to two milestones of the piano repertoire: The Well-Tempered Clavier of Johann Sebastian Bach and the 32 piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. He performed the Beethoven cycle from 2008 to 2010 in New York, Washington, Tokyo, London, Paris and Vienna. Furthermore, contemporary music is of great importance to him; he has given the world premieres of works by Kit Armstrong, Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Larcher, Alexander Stankovski and Hans Zender. From 2017-18 onwards – and stretching over two seasons – Till Fellner will present an all Schubert cycle (four concerts in total) which will be presented at the Schubertiade Festival, in Antwerp, Tokyo and Taipei and other cities.

The ECM label, for whom Till Fellner is an exclusive recording artist, has released the First Book of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Two & Three-Part Inventions of J. S. Bach, Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano and, most recently, a CD of chamber music by Harrison Birtwistle. In autumn 2016 Alpha Classics released the recording of the piano quintet by J. Brahms with the Belcea Quartet, this recording received the “Diapason d’Or de l’Annee”.

In his native Vienna, Till Fellner studied with Helene Sedo-Stadler before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel, Meira Farkas, Oleg Maisenberg, and Claus-Christian Schuster.

Since autumn 2013, Till Fellner teaches at the Zurich Hochschule der Künste.

Alexandre Kantorow

At 22 years old, Alexandre Kantorow is the first French pianist to win the gold medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition as well as the Grand Prix in 2019.

Whether it’s a concert or a disc, the critics are giving Alexandre Kantorow rave reviews. Hailed by the press as the “young tsar” of the French piano, he started performing very early. At 16, he was invited to play for “La Folle Journée” in Nantes and Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia and since then he has played with many orchestras. He performs regularly with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

Alexandre has played at major concert halls such as the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Philharmonie de Paris, Bozar in Brussels and also at the most prestigious festivals including la Roque d’Anthéron, Piano aux Jacobins, Heidelberg etc.

His record releases as an exclusive artist for BIS always win the best awards and distinctions :

  • Brahms, Bartók et Liszt (BIS-2380) – Diapason d’Or and Choc Classica
  • Piano concertos 3, 4 & 5 by Saint-Saëns (BIS-2300) – Diapason d’Or and Choc Classica of the year 2019
  • « À la russe » (BIS-2150) – Choc Classica of the year 2017, Diapason découverte, Supersonic (Pizzicato) and CD des Doppelmonats (PianoNews)
  • Piano concertos by Liszt (BIS-2100)

In 2019, he was named “Musical Revelation of the Year” by the Professional Critics Association.

In 2020, he has been awarded two “Victoires de la Musique Classique”: recording of the year (Saint Saëns concerto n°3, 4 & 5) and instrumental soloist of the year.

Alexandre has studied with Pierre-Alain Volondat, Igor Lazko, Franck Braley and Rena Shereshevskaya.

Alexandre is a laureate of the Safran foundation and Banque Populaire.

Paul Lay

Paul Lay graduated from the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) where he studied at the Jazz and Improvised Music Department with Hervé Sellin, François Théberge, Glenn Ferris, Dre Pallemearts and Riccardo del Fra.

He has won numerous prizes both in national and international competitions (soloist prize at the National Jazz Competition of La Defense, laureate of the International Piano Jazz Competition of Moscow, Martial Solal International Piano Jazz Competition, Montreux International Piano Jazz Competition). He also is a laureate of both the Meyer Foundation and the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.

Invited to perform at the most prestigious venues in France and abroad, Paul Lay has played both as a soloist and leader of various ensembles including the Paul Lay Trio with Dré Pallemaerts and Clemens Ven der Feen and Alcazar Memories with Isabel Sörling, vocals and Simon Tailleu, bass.

 

Recent performances include the Mikado Quartet performing at the Duc des Lombards, Sunside, Jazz à la Villette Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam as well as at the Radio France Montpellier Festival and the festivals of Annecy, Biarritz , Cologne , Midsummer Hardelot Festival, Festival de  l’Empéri and Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse.

Paul also plays as sideman with the Geraldine Laurent Quartet, Eric Le Lann Quartet, Riccardo Del Fra Quintet, Ping Machine, Shauli Einav Quintet. Plus he accompanied Barbara Hendricks for a medley of Spirituals and gospels on the International Day of Jazz at UNESCO.

Regularly invited abroad, Paul Lay has played in various venues and for organizations in New York, Toronto and at the French Institute in Berlin. Paul Lay has also toured Russia and Central America (Peru, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic).

 

 

Paul Lay is the most brilliant jazz pianist of his generation.

— Francis Marmande, Le Monde

 

Excellent harmonic imagination , diverse playing, most interesting compositions, and obvious knowledge of jazz history as well as a personal voice : Paul Lay has got everything it takes to go right to the top and make a lasting career.

— Martial Solal

 

Paul Lay’s style is a true joy for the listener.

— Michel Contat, Télérama

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