Jean-Guihen Queyras & Alexandre Tharaud

Biography Jean-Guihen Queyras & Alexandre Tharaud

Jean-Guihen Queyras's
much awaited recording of Bach's complete solo suites was released last year and received immediate acclaim by the French press (Diapason d'Or and CD of the month in Diapason, CHOC du Monde de la Musique etc.), followed by the release of his Debussy-Poulenc CD with pianist Alexandre Tharaud, which was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'Année in 2008. Previous CDs include Schubert's ‘Arpeggione' alongside works by Berg and Webern (again with Alexandre Tharaud) (Gramophone ‘Editor's Choice', BBC Music Magazine ‘Chamber Music Choice', ‘Strad Selection', Scherzo ‘E' for Excepcional), Dvořák's cello concerto with the Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Jiří Bĕlohlávek (BBC Radio 3 CD of the week, November 2005) and Haydn and Monn's cello concertos performed on a period instrument with the Freiburger Barockorchester, praised in both The Independent on Sunday and the Saturday Telegraph as the definitive baroque version.

Jean-Guihen's extensive repertoire includes more recent works, which he performs internationally: he gave the world premieres of Ivan Fedele's cello concerto (Orchestre National de France, Leonard Slatkin) and Gilbert Amy's concerto (Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall, Tokyo). He also premiered Bruno Mantovani's concerto with the Saarbrücken Radio Sinfonieorchester and Phillippe Schoeller's Wind's Eyes with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. The last three appear together on a CD for harmonia mundi.

His particular focus on repertoire for solo cello, which brilliantly demonstrates the exceptional narrative and expressive force of the monodic instrument, led him to devise and perform several series of concerts featuring the Suites by J.S Bach alongside contemporary works at the Triphony Hall in Tokyo and the Théâtre du Châtelet. He also commissioned six composers (Kurtag, Harvey, Mochizuki, Amy, Nodaïra & Fedele) to write an ‘echo' to each of the six Bach Suites for solo cello, in a project called ‘Six Suites, Six Echos', which he has performed in such prestigious venues as the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Hamburg's Musikhalle and the Cité de la Musique in Paris.

In 2008, Jean-Guihen made his BBC PROMS debut to unanimous acclaim (Haydn in C) and performed Britten's Symphony for cello and orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival. He has been invited as a resident artist of the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and De Bijloke in Gent. Regular chamber music partners include the pianists Alexander Melnikov and Alexandre Tharaud and the violinist Isabelle Faust. He is a member of the Arcanto Quartet with Tabea Zimmermann, Antje Weithaas and Daniel Sepec, and performs regularly with Zarb specialists Kevan and Bijan Chemirani.

His solo engagements with orchestras include the Philharmonia, Orchestre de Paris, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Zürich, Gewandhaus orchestra, Radio-Sinfoniorchester Saarbrücken, SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden/Freiburg, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Berlin Konzerhaus orchestra, Radiosinfonieorchester Wien, Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, Münich Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, DeFhilharmonie Antwerpens, Sao Paulo State Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Heinz Holliger, Franz Brüggen, Günther Herbig, Günther Herbig, Gerd Albrecht, Ivan Fisher, Hans Graf, Philippe Herreweghe, Marek Janowski, Denis Russell Davies, Jiří Bělohlávek, Ed Gardner, David Stern, Leonard Slatkin, Olivier Knussen, Roger Norrington, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Muhaï Tang, John Neschling and Andras Ligeti. Jean-Guihen made his debut in the main hall at Carnegie Hall in New York with Concerto Köln in March 2004.

Jean-Guihen was the solo cellist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, with whom he recorded the Ligeti Cello Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon, conducted by Pierre Boulez (Gramophone Contemporary Music Award). For harmonia mundi he also released Britten's suites for solo cello and a collection of Hungarian works by Kodaly, Kurtag and Veress, which was awarded a Diapason d'Or. Jean-Guihen has also recorded Dutilleux's Tout un Monde Lointain for Arte Nova/BMG and Boulez's Messagesquisse for Deutsche Grammophon (Gramophone Contemporary Music Award).

In November 2002, Jean-Guihen Queyras received the City of Toronto Glenn Gould International Protégé Prize in Music, awarded to him by Pierre Boulez and the Glenn Gould Foundation, and was recently made ‘Instrumental Soloist of the Year' at the French Classical Music Awards as well as ‘Artist of the Year' for readers of the Diapason magazine.

Jean-Guihen Queyras is Professor at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, Germany and one of the Artistic Directors of the ‘Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence' which take place in Forcalquier in July each year.

He plays a cello made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1696, on loan from Mécénat Musical Société Générale since November 2005.

Alexandre Tharaud
Alexandre Tharaud's concert schedule in 2015 began with the first of four US tours, scheduled across the 14/15 and 15/16 seasons, during which Alexandre will perform at major concert halls including Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and debut with both the Atlanta Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras.

Alexandre’s international career continues to flourish with concerts this season in Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Benelux (where he has been invited to be the Eindhoven Muziekgebouw’s Resident-Artist in 2015/2016), Spain (as part of the Great Performers cycle at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid), Italy (débuts at Santa Cecilia in Roma), the UK, Austria and in Asia with tours in China, South Korea and Japan (concerts with New Japan Philharmonic and Kansai Philharmonic).

Next season Alexandre will present the world premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s concerto for the left hand together with the WDR Sinfoniorchester Köln and conductor Ilan Volkov. Subsequent performances include national premieres with the CBSO in Birmingham, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and chief conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with the Danish Radio Orchestra in Copenhagen and the Göteborgs Symfoniker, Sweden.

Recent seasons have include a number of exciting projects including Alexandre’s first major tour to China, his BBC Proms orchestral debut (with the BBC Philharmonic under the baton of Juanjo Mena), a ‘Domaine Privé’ at the Cité de la Musique, book (Piano Intime) and film (Le Temps Dérobé, by Swiss film maker Raphaëlle Aellig-Régnier) releases; last but not least, Alexandre has been asked to revise a new edition of Maurice Ravel's complete solo piano works.

Alexandre’s eclectic discography includes Bach, then Mozart and Haydn with Les Violons du Roy, Autograph, Le Boeuf sur Le Toit, Scarlatti, Journal Intime (Chopin) and Bach Concertos with Les Violons du Roy for ERATO, and, in 2015, his long-awaited interpretation of Bach's Goldberg Variations.

As a recitalist Alexandre Tharaud has performed across the world: Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Versailles, Cologne Philharmonie, Prague Rudofinum, Essen Philharmonie, Queen Elizabeth Hall Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, John F. Kennedy Centre Washington D.C., Vienna Musikverein, Bern Casino, Krakow Philharmonie, Hoam Art Hall and LG Arts Center Seoul, Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Oji Hall and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. His festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Gergiev Festival, Aix-en-Provence, La Roque d’Anthéron, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Ludwigsburg, Ruhr Piano Festival, Nuits de Décembre de Moscou, Rimini, Domaine Forget and Lanaudière.

As a soloist he has appeared with the main French orchestras (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lyon) and elsewhere (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, as well as the Bavarian, Saarbrücken and Frankfurt Radio, Estonian National, Toronto, Singapore, Taiwan, Sao Paulo, Umea and Hamburg Symphony Orchestras, and the Japan and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras) under the direction of Lionel Bringuier, Bernard Labadie, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Georges Prêtre, Marc Minkowski, Stéphane Denève, Leo Hussain, David Zinman, Yannik Nézet-Séguin and Claus Peter-Flor.

Dedicatee of numerous works, Alexandre Tharaud premiered Thierry Pécou’s cycle Outre-Mémoire which included two concertos; L’Oiseau Innumérable, with orchestra and Le Visage – Le Coeur, with the choir Les Eléments at La Roque d’Anthéron Festival under the direction of Joël Suhubiette. In 2012, he premiered Gérard Pesson’s concerto in Zurich, Frankfurt and Paris with the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich and RSO Frankfurt. Alexandre has also both commissioned and premiered three cycles: ‘Hommages à Rameau’, ‘Hommage à Couperin' and ‘Pianosong’.

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