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Hélène Mercier

Pianist Hélène Mercier is known for her piano duo work with Louis Lortie, but she also performs widely as a soloist, chamber music player, and accompanist. She has recorded for the Chandos and Warner Classics labels. Mercier was born in Montreal on February 5, 1960, to François and Lucile Mercier; she is sometimes known by her married name, Hélène Mercier-Arnault. She began studying piano at age six at the Vincent d'Indy School of music in the (then) suburb of Outremont and made rapid progress. At 15, she moved to Austria to attend the Vienna Academy of Music, studying with Dieter Weber. Mercier attended the Juilliard School in New York, where her teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki, and the Conservatoire de Paris, working with Pierre Sancan, and her musical career has been divided roughly equally between North America and Europe. In 1992, Mercier released her debut album, joining Lortie on an album for music for four hands by Ravel. As a recitalist and chamber player, Mercier has appeared in major world venues, including the Salle Pleyel in Paris, South Bank Centre in London, and the Berlin Konzerthaus. She has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras across Canada and beyond, including the Israel Philharmonic (under Zubin Mehta), the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony. She is especially active as a duo pianist, performing not only with Lortie but also with such luminaries as Cyprien Katsaris, Boris Berezovsky, and Frank Braley. Mercier is also an enthusiastic chamber player who has accompanied violinist Vladimir Spivakov in performance and on recordings; the pair's recording of works by Chausson earned a Choc award from France's Le Monde de la Musique. Her recordings have been of duo piano repertory, appearing on the Chandos and Warner Classics labels, mostly with Lortie; in 2022, the pair released the album Debussy: Piano Duets on Chandos. Mercier is a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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