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Philippe Jaroussky

Philippe Jaroussky is a star of the countertenor voice whose recordings of Baroque music have been exceptionally widely acclaimed. Emerging with a group of spectacular appearances and recordings in the early 2000s, he has branched out beyond Baroque repertory and recorded French art song, lieder of Schubert, and the like. Jaroussky was born in the Paris suburb of Maisons-Laffittes on January 13, 1978. His first instrument was the violin, and he earned a degree from the early music department of the Conservatoire de Paris in 1996. He also studied the piano during his early years, but after hearing countertenor Fabrice di Falco (the "creole Farinelli"), he switched to voice and began studies with soprano Nicole Fallien. By 1997, Jaroussky was beginning to find major Baroque opera engagements, appearing in a trilogy of Monteverdi operas under conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire. With a combination of sweet tone and power in the virtuoso arias of Handel and Vivaldi, he emerged as a major figure in the first years of the 21st century. In 2001, he made his first recording, of Alessandro Scarlatti's opera Sedecia, re di Gerusalemme. Jaroussky has a large repertory of Baroque opera, and he has done much to popularize the genre in historically authentic performances (many soprano roles in Baroque opera were composed for castrato singers, for which Jaroussky's countertenor voice offers a modern substitute). He has appeared with many top Baroque ensembles in France and elsewhere, including Les Arts Florissants, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and Le Concert d'Astrée. He has recorded numerous cantatas and other works for smaller groups, often with his own ensemble, Artaserse. That ensemble was named for Leonardo Vinci's opera Artaserse, in whose modern premiere Jaroussky had performed. His recordings cover opera, conceptual recordings like Un concert pour Mazarin (2004), and recitals such as Porpora: Arias (2013), on which he performed repertory associated with the 18th century countertenor Farinelli. Jaroussky has won four Victoires de la musique classique awards and three Echo Klassik awards in Germany. Beginning with 2009's Opium: Mélodies françaises, Jaroussky's recordings have sometimes explored repertory atypical for countertenors. This group of recordings includes À sa guitare, featuring guitarist Thibaut Garcia and released in 2021 on the Erato label, for which Jaroussky has made most of his albums.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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