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, Bianconi was recently endowed with the prestigious directorship of the American Conservatory at Fontainebleu.
Bianconi was awarded the Silver Medal in the Seventh Van Cliburn International Competition and made his acclaimed recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1987. Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with leading orchestras, including those of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, and Montreal, and has 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, David Zinman, JoAnn Falletta, Marek Janowski, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Edo de Waart, and Yoav Talmi.
In Europe, 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 Symphony and the Sydney Symphony.
An active and acclaimed recitalist, Philippe Bianconi 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.”
Philippe Bianconi recently recorded the Debussy Prèludes for La Dolce Volta that received 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 Le Chant du Monde label, and the three Schubert lieder cycles with Hermann Prey on Denon.
As the new director of the American Conservatory at the Palais de Fontainebleu, Bianconi joins 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. This directorship cements Bianconi’s reputation as one of the most distinguished artists of his generation.