C L A I R E C H E V A L L I E R
B I O G R A P H Y
Pianist claire chevallier (°1969) is much in demand across Europe for solo recitals, chamber music and concertos. Highly acclaimed for her concerts and award winning recordings, Claire specializes in period performance, particularly from the classical to the French masters of the 20th century. Claire also brings the unique sound world of her pianos to theatre productions, at times working together with living composers in order to develop new repertoire for the instrument. As musician-researcher, she has begun her own collection of French historical keyboards, which has grown to 6 instruments covering the time span 1842-1920.
Claire combined the study of the piano at the musical academies of Nancy, Strasbourg (Hélène Boschi) and Paris (Bruno Rigutto) with her traditional studies in mathematics and physics. She then continued her musical education at the conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles with Jean-claude Vanden Eynden and Guy Van Waas, where she was awarded first prize in piano and chamber music. She became fascinated with the fortepiano during her studies via a master class given by Jos van Immerseel. She began to concentrate on the historical background and the evolution of the “construction” of the fortepiano, and for a number of years studied the specific characteristics and maintenance requirements (tuning, strings, etc) of the instrument completely on her own.
In 1996, Claire Chevallier was invited by the renowned dance company Rosas to work with the period instrument orchestra Anima Eterna Brugge in presenting the music for a dance and music performance around concert arias by Mozart. This production played in all the major European venues including London’s Royal Festival Hall, La Monnaie in Brussels and the Dresden Staatsschauspiel. Since then, she has appeared regularly as soloist or chambriste in Europe and Japan, including Cité de la Musique in Paris, Académies musicales de Saintes, concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht, Netwerk Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Brühl Schloss Konzerte, Musikfestspiele Bremen and Tokyo Ueno college. In Belgium, where she currently lives, she is regularly invited by Concertgebouw Bruges, Musica Antiqua Festival Bruges, the Festival of Flanders Ghent, AMUZ Antwerp and BO0AR Brussels, among others.
Since 2004, she has been teaching fortepiano at the ‘Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles’. She regularly gives lectures on the history and technique of (historical) pianos. Since 2007, she has been a member of the Jury of the International Fortepiano competition, organized by the Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges, a role she will take up also in 2014 for the International List Concours in Utrecht, Holland.
Her collection of original keyboards often directs her choice of repertoire for recordings. Recent solo releases focused on Erik Satie (Erard 1905, Zig-Zag Territoires 2008) and Franz Liszt (“Fever”, La Dolce Volta, Paris, 2011), both awarded the FFFF recommendation of Télérama. The piano duo Chevallier - van Immerseel recorded two discs with the French label Zig-Zag Territoires: ‘Pièces à deux pianos’ with works by Franck, Saint-Saëns, Poulenc and Infante on two original Erard pianos from Paris (ZZT 2003, “Diapason d’or”) and Rachmaninov Suites for two pianos and four hands (2006).
As soloist, she appears in the applauded recording of Ravelc’s ‘Concerto pour la main Gauche’ with the orchestra Anima Eterna Brugge under the direction of Jos van Immerseel (ZZT 2006), followed by a recording of the ‘Concerto pour deux pianos’ of Poulenc (with van Immerseel as the second soloist). This CD was again a sure fire-winner with the maximum points of Télérama and Diapason, and ended up in a successfull tour (April-May 2011) to some major halls in France.
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Date: Jan 2013