Pianist Jean-Philippe Collard is often noted as a specialist in the music of Fauré and Saint-Saëns, but his repertory has broadened beyond that initial focus. He has played music from Gershwin to Tchaikovsky, but he remains identified as an exponent of the French pianistic tradition.
Born January 27, 1948, in Mareuil-sur-Ay in the Marne department of France, Collard grew up in a musical family and took up the piano at five. Unusually among top-rank pianists, he is left-handed and has sometimes suffered repetitive-motion injuries to his right hand. He was something of a prodigy: he was sent to Berlin in 1960 by the Jeunesses Musicales youth group to compete in an international competition, and he was awarded a first prize at the Paris Conservatory when he was 16. Over the next decade, Collard won several prestigious competition prizes in France. His early promise did not disappoint. He gave an acclaimed debut at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in 1973 and later that year, appeared with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under conductor Seiji Ozawa. Collard has given recitals around Europe (including Russia), North and South America, and East Asia. He has performed as a concerto soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, among other groups. Among the top venues where he has performed is the BBC Proms. In the 2018-2019 season, Collard served as artist-in-residence with the Montreal Symphony, performing concerts with the orchestra, playing a recital, and giving master classes. Collard's recording career has centered on EMI Classics and related labels. Many of his earlier recordings involved the music of Fauré and Saint-Saëns, but his career has expanded to include composers beyond those two, and indeed beyond France. In 2019, Collard was heard on the Erato label in a performance of Georges Auric's Imaginées. He is the music director of the Flâneries musicales de Reims festival.
© James Manheim /TiVo