Philippe Bianconi – France
1985 cliburn silver medalist
French pianist Philippe Bianconi has been described as an artist whose playing is “always close to the soul of the music, filling the space with poetry and life,” (Washington Post) and who offers “an extraordinary exhibition of musicianship, technical control and good taste” (The London Times). Having appeared as a soloist with the world’s finest orchestras, Mr. Bianconi recently concluded his tenure as director of the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, a post he held between 2013–2017 that cemented his reputation as one of the most distinguished artists of his generation. He continues to teach at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau and joined the faculty of École Normale de Musique de Paris in fall 2018.
Mr. Bianconi was awarded the silver medal in the Seventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1985 and made his acclaimed recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1987. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with leading orchestras, including Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, and Montreal, and performed at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony under James Conlon. He has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Masur, JoAnn Falletta, Marek Janowski, and Edo de Waart.
In Europe, Mr. Bianconi appears regularly with many orchestras, including a recent performance with James Conlon and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris in the sold-out Paris Garnier Opera House, and with the Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Berlin Radio Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Orchester der Beethovenhalle in Bonn, and Strasbourg Philharmonic. He has concertized a number of times in Australia, performing with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.
An active and acclaimed recitalist, he has performed around the world, including at New York’s Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, at Wigmore Hall in London, for the Berlin Philharmonic, and in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Hamburg, Milan, Madrid, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney. His recent recital in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris was a huge success, with Le Figaro acclaiming him “one of the best pianists in France.” In March 2019, as part of the Festival du Printemps des Arts de Monaco, Mr. Bianconi will perform and record Brahms’ first and second piano concertos with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and conductor Michal Nesterowicz.
Philippe Bianconi’s recording of Debussy’s Prèludes for the La Dolce Volta label received a prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année and a nomination for “Recording of the Year” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique. Additionally, he has recorded Debussy piano music and the complete solo works of Ravel, as well as solo albums of Schumann and Schubert, for the Lyrinx label. His other recordings include the Brahms Violin Sonatas with Tedi Papavrami on the Aeon label, works of Shostakovich and Prokofiev with cellist Gary Hoffman on the Le Chant du Monde label, and the three Schubert lieder cycles with Hermann Prey on Denon, a Chopin album with the four Ballades, and a Schumann album featuring Papillons, Carnaval and Davidsbündlertänze. In 2020, Mr. Bianconi released a live album of Brahms’ First and Second Piano Concertos with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and conductor Michal Nesterowicz, recorded as part of the Festival du Printemps des Arts de Monaco.
As director of the American Conservatory at the Palais de Fontainebleau from 2013–2017, he joined a celebrated coterie of previous faculty and directors, among them Maurice Ravel, Robert Casadesus, Jean Francaix, Henri Dutilleux, Leonard Bernstein, and Nadia Boulanger, who was director from 1949–1979. Founded in 1921, the American Conservatory has trained an enormous number of legendary musicians, including Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, Virgil Thomson, Astor Piazzolla, Phillip Glass, and Quincy Jones. Mr. Bianconi makes his home in Paris when he is not performing.