Visit this artist's website: http://helenegrimaud.com/
Pianist HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays with such poetic expression and peerless technical control. The French artist has established herself as a committed wildlife conservationist, as a compassionate human rights activist, and as a writer.
Grimaud was born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence; she was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at just 13 and won first prize in piano performance a mere three years later. She continued to study with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher until, in 1987, she gave her well-received debut recital in Tokyo. That same year, Daniel Barenboim invited her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris.
This marked the launch of Grimaud’s musical career, characterized ever since by concerts with most of the world’s major orchestras and many celebrated conductors. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades.
Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999 – just two of many notable musical milestones – Grimaud made a wholly different kind of debut: in upper New York State she established the Wolf Conservation Center. “To be involved in direct conservation and being able to put animals back where they belong,” she says, “there’s just nothing more fulfilling.”
Grimaud has also found time to pursue writing, publishing three books that have appeared in various languages. Her first, Variations Sauvages, appeared in 2003. It was followed in 2005 by Leçons particulières, and in 2013 by Retour à Salem, both semi-autobiographical novels.
Despite her divided dedication to these multiple passions, it is through Grimaud’s thoughtful and tenderly expressive music-making that she most deeply touches the emotions of audiences who enjoy her concerts worldwide, thanks to the extensive tours she undertakes as a soloist and recitalist. She is also an ardent and committed chamber musician who performs frequently at the most prestigious festivals and cultural events with a wide range of musical collaborators.
In her diary for the 2016/17 season are European appearances with Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic; performances of concertos by Bartók, Brahms, and Ravel in the U.S. and Australia; and recital dates in Germany and Switzerland with cellist Sol Gabetta.
Hélène Grimaud has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002. Water, a live recording released in 2016, bringing together works by Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt, Janáček, and Debussy, was the follow-up to her album of the two Brahms piano concertos conducted by Andris Nelsons, the first concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the second with the Vienna Philharmonic. Duo, with cellist Sol Gabetta, won the 2013 ECHO Award for “chamber recording of the year”. Previous releases include Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 23; the solo recital album Resonances, which showcases music by Mozart, Berg, Liszt, and Bartók; a selection of Bach’s solo and concerto works, in which she directed the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the piano; a Beethoven disc with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Vladimir Jurowski; Reflection and Credo (both of which feature a number of thematically linked works); a Chopin and Rachmaninoff Sonatas disc; a Bartók CD on which she plays the Third Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez; and a DVD release of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
Hélène Grimaud’s deep dedication to her musical career, both in performances and recordings, is reflected and reciprocally amplified by the scope and depth of her environmental and literary pursuits. Her prodigious contribution to and impact on the world of classical music were recently recognized by the French government when she was admitted into the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (France’s highest decoration) at the rank of Chevalier (Knight). She was presented with the award at a ceremony in Aix-en-Provence last March.