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Jean-François Heisser

With a repertory extending from Beethoven to contemporary music, pianist Jean-François Heisser has distinguished himself as a concerto soloist, recitalist, conductor, and chamber player. He is also an important educator. Heisser was born in Saint-Étienne, France, near Lyon, on December 7, 1950. He took lessons first with local teacher Paul Simonnar and then moved to the French capital to attend the Conservatoire de Paris, studying with Vlado Perlemuter. In 1984, he joined the Conservatoire faculty, and his students have included prominent names among the next generation of French pianists, including Bertrand Chamayou, Vanessa Wagner, and Lucas Debargue. He has also taught at the Académie Maurice Ravel of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Heisser's career has been varied and consistently successful: his concerto credits include appearances with the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the Sinfonieorchester des bayerischen Rundfunks as well as ensembles around France. Heisser sometimes conducts from the keyboard, and after successful appearances, he became the artistic director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Nouvelle-Aquitaine. As a chamber player, he has appeared with the Lindsay, Ysaÿe, and Prazak quartets, as well as with solo players, including violinists Sándor Végh and Gérard Poulet. Heisser has also performed two-piano music with Marie-Josèphe Jude. His large repertory runs from Beethoven, whose complete piano concertos he has performed under conductor Louis Langrée, to Stockhausen and the forward edge of modern music. Heisser has a large catalog of recordings, having made his debut in 1991 with a recording on the Harmonia Mundi label of Liszt's Harold in Italy and Schumann's Märchenbilder. In 2019, for Harmonia Mundi, he and Jude recorded his two-piano transcription of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique on the 1928 Pleyel Vis-à-Vis Piano, a kind of two-in-one instrument. He has often recorded for Erato, Apex, and Mirare, where he was heard in 2021 on a new recording of Stockhausen's Mantra.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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Discography

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