“Impressive piano playing”
Considered by his colleagues, the critics, and the public as one of the most captivating all-round musicians of his generation, Philippe Cassard trained with Dominique Merlet and Geneviève Joy-Dutilleux at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he obtained Premiers Prix for Piano and Chamber Music in 1982. He went on to advanced study for two years at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and subsequently received guidance from the legendary Nikita Magaloff. He was a finalist at the 1985 Clara Haskil Competition, and won first prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition in 1988.
After this success he was invited to appear with the leading European orchestras (London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Budapest Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, etc), playing under the direction of such conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Marek Janowski, Charles Dutoit, Pascal Tortelier, Armin Jordan, and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
From 1993 onwards, Philippe Cassard presented the complete piano works of Debussy in a single day of four concerts: after the Besançon Festival and the Wigmore Hall in London, he went on to play the cycle in Paris, Marseille, Lisbon, Dublin, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Liège, Toulouse, and Vancouver, invariably meeting with immense success.
His penchant for chamber music and his passion for the voice have led him to perform with such artists as Christa Ludwig, Natalie Dessay, Angelika Kirchschlager, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Wolfgang Holzmair, Donna Brown, Michel Portal, and David Grimal, the Ébène and Modigliani quartets, and the actors Philippe Torreton, Roland Bertin, Judith Magre, and Micheline Dax.
Philippe Cassard has published an essay on Schubert (Actes Sud) and a book of interviews about cinema and music, Deux temps trois mouvements (Capricci). He founded the festival Les Estivales de Gerberoy (1997-2003), and was artistic director of Les Nuits Romantiques du Lac du Bourget (1999-2008). Since 2013 he has been responsible for the classical programme of the Festival de Fontdouce (Charente Maritime). He has presented nearly 400 programmes in the radio series Notes du Traducteur on France Musique since 2005; in 2007 the series received the Prix SCAM for ‘best sound work of 2007’.