French harpsichordist Olivier Baumont has distinguished himself as a performer and scholar, specializing in French Baroque repertoire. He took up the harpsichord without learning piano first, sharing his family's love for French history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He studied with Kenneth Gilbert and Huguette Dreyfus and worked with Gustav Leonhardt in his master classes in Cologne. He was awarded first prize in harpsichord (1981) and in chamber music (1982) at the Paris Conservatory and won the Concours de Solistes de Radio France in 1982. He frequently performs at music festivals in Europe, England, and the United States, and has toured widely. Since 1992, he has directed the Festival Couperin at Chaumes-en-Brie. He has released over 40 recordings, including a complete edition of Rameau's harpsichord works for Accord-Universal and complete editions of harpsichord works by Couperin and Louis-Claude Daquin for Erato-Warner Classic. Other recordings include works by Handel, Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, eighteenth century Russian composers, and eighteenth century American composers. His disc of the harpsichord works by Jean-François Dandrieu was awarded the Choc du Monde de la Musique. His twentieth century repertoire for the harpsichord includes works by Manuel de Falla, Milhaud, and Poulenc. In September, 2001, Baumont became professor of harpsichord at the Paris Conservatory. He is the author of a biography of François Couperin, has edited harpsichord works by Michel Corrette and Jacques Duphly, and has contributed scholarly articles to numerous musicological journals.
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Classical - Released December 17, 2012 | Tempéraments - Radio France
Classical - Released February 3, 2017 | Aparté
At the court of Versailles, the daughters of Louis XV (referred to as 'Mesdames'), and in particular Adélaïde, devoted themselves to a regular practice of music and, apparently, demonstrated talent. Numerous composers (Simon, Rameau, Balbastre, Cardonne, Guignon) played for them, worked with them, and dedicated several works to them. 'À Madame', Divertissement pour Adélaïde, is an anthology, subjectively put together, of compositions that resounded in their drawing room. All the works on this programme are world premieres. These lovely, rare nuggets are mixed with a few unusual sonorities of marvellous carillons of the Marc-Antoine Le Nepveu clock (currently in the Cabinet de la Méridienne, located at the heart of the palace, on the first floor). The recording, made in the Grand Cabinet de Madame Victoire at Versailles and featuring two precious historical instruments from the palace's collections, faithfully reproduces the forgotten beauties of the Age of Enlightenment. An original invitation to travel back in time, as testimony to a musical afternoon at Versailles in the company of Mesdames.