French cellist Marc Coppey has made good on the promise of his prestigious teen triumphs, developing an impressive solo career that has seen him perform music from the Bach solo cello suites to newly composed cello music. Coppey was born in Strasbourg in eastern France in 1969 and attended a conservatory there before moving on to the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris and the University of Indiana in the U.S. His first exposure came via a double prize (first prize, and a special prize for best Bach performance) at the Leipzig Bach Competition in 1988, which got him noticed by Yehudi Menuhin. The 18-year-old Coppey was soon on-stage in Paris and Moscow, playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, with Menuhin and pianist Victoria Postnikova. The following year, Coppey performed at the Evian Festival in France at the invitation of Mstislav Rostropovich.
With high-powered backing like that, it wasn't long before Coppey was a regular on the international concert circuit. He has appeared in concertos under a long list of A-list conductors, including Raymond Leppard, Emmanuel Krivine, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Rafael Frühbeck de Burtos, Eliahu Inbal, and Paul McCreesh, performing at such venues as the Wigmore Hall in London, the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Prague's Rudolfinium, the Great Hall of the Moscow Cosnervatory, Casals Hall in Tokyo, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Philharmonie in Paris. From the beginning, Coppey has devoted energy to chamber music: he has performed solo, teamed with pianists on the level of Maria João Pires, Stephen Kovacevich, Ilya Gringolts, and Nelson Goerner, and played in piano trios. He was a member of the Ysaÿe Quartet from 1995 to 2000. Coppey has given a large number of premieres of new music, and in 2015 he premiered ten works for solo cello by prominent composers as a tribute to Pierre Boulez at the Paris Philharmonie.
Coppey made his debut in 1995 on Harmonia Mundi with an album featuring cello sonatas by Grieg and Strauss, and since then he has recorded mostly for Aeon and Audite. In 2003 he recorded the Bach cello suites for the former label. The year 2017 saw the release of Coppey's recording of Bloch's Schelomo and Dvorák's Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, on Audite. He was named an Officier des Arts et des Lettres by France's ministry of culture in 2014.
© James Manheim /TiVo