Récital, Chamber music, Baroque music
Pierre Hantaï was born in 1964 into a family of artists. During his childhood, he was passionately attracted to painting, but it was his encounter with the music of Bach that was to determine his future path. The harpsichord recordings of Gustav Leonhardt had a profound influence on him in this respect. He took his first steps in music at the age of ten, playing a great deal of chamber music with his brothers. At first he taught himself (on a small spinet) the repertory that interested him, before taking lessons with the American harpsichordist Arthur Haas. Ultimately, he was invited by Gustav Leonhardt to attend his classes in Amsterdam for two years. He was still very young when he began performing with the key personalities of the small world of early music, including the Kuijken brothers, Gustav Leonhardt, Philippe Herreweghe and Jordi Savall.
He became known to a wider audience with his recording of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, a work that he has since played over a hundred times throughout the world. He has often performed and recorded the Elizabethan repertory (Bull, Byrd, Farnaby), as well as Bach and Couperin, and has devoted himself to an in-depth exploration of the works of Domenico Scarlatti, of which he has made numerous recordings and with which he seeks to familiarise audiences. Today he enjoys appearing with his musical friends on the concert platform, among them Jordi Savall, his brothers Marc and Jérôme Hantaï, the recorder player Hugo Reyne, the violinist Amandine Beyer, and the harpsichordists Skip Sempé, Olivier Fortin, Aapo Häkkinen and Maude Gratton.
Pierre Hantaï’s recordings for various labels (Adda, Astrée-Auvidis, Opus 111, Virgin, Mirare) have received many prizes from the critics, including the Gramophone Award, the Grand Prix du Disque, the Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année. He has given masterclasses for academies in France and abroad. He directs his instrumental ensemble Le Concert Français and also appears as a guest conductor with several chamber orchestras.