Hervé Billaut


Hervé Billaut

“Hervé Billaut tells stories in sound. After giving a new lease of life to the Spain of Isaac Albéniz in a highly regarded complete recording of Iberia, he returned to the recording studio with a recital of music by Gabriel Fauré that was acclaimed by the critics (4 stars in Le Monde de la Musique, 5 Diapasons, 9 de Classica, etc.). At La Roque d’Anthéron, where he is a regular guest, in Granada, Paris, Toulouse, or at La Folle Journée, the public has enthusiastically followed him on these musical journeys, which have earned him admiring notices in the press.

For to be a musician, in the view of this explorer of scores, means transcending his brilliant piano technique to create a whole universe of sensations, impressions, colours. With his special gift for communicating the high standards required of a concert artist, he soon became a sought-after teacher, at the Conservatoire de Lyon, in Paris, and as far afield as Seoul. But the teacher himself received a rigorous training: as a gifted child, he studied with Germaine Mounier and Jean Hubeau in Paris, winning the Conservatoire’s top prizes at the age of sixteen. In 1983, he was awarded a Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long Competition, just one of many distinctions in major international competitions (Viotti, 1981; Vercelli, 1982; Épinal, 1983; Pretoria, 1990; Tokyo, 1995).

He then went on to play all over the world, performing in the largest cities thanks notably to the ports visited by the helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc, on which he performed his national service. More recently, his concert tours have taken him to South America, China, Japan, and Korea.

The artistic relationships he has built up over the years reveal an open, generous personality: a regular guest at the Maison de Radio France, he frequently participates in broadcasts on France Musique; as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, he has played under the direction of such conductors as John Eliot Gardiner, Yehudi Menuhin and Nicolas Chalvin; a fervent chamber musician, he shares moments of complicity with the pianists Frank Braley, Philippe Cassard, François Chaplin, Cédric Tiberghien, and Guillaume Coppola, the Quatuor Voce, the Quatuor Debussy, the violinists Stéphane Tran Ngoc and Naoko Ogihara, the clarinettists Michel Portal and Florent Héau, and many others; this musician passionately fond of dance has collaborated with the choreographers Jean-Christophe Maillot, John Neumeier, and Roland Petit as a soloist with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo; and, as artistic director of Les Rendez-Vous de Rochebonne, he presents every year an original programme centred on major artists and young talents.”

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