Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7: French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud is 44-years-old today.

Hélène Grimaud was born in Aix-en Provence in the south of France in 1969. She discovered the piano at seven. At the age of 13 she was accepted by the Paris Conservatory where where she studied with Jacques Rouvier, Jacqueline Courtin, and subsequently in Marseille with Pierre Barbizet. 

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She won first prize at the conservatory in piano in 1985 and the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros for her recording of the Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 2.

Immediately after graduating, she recorded Rachmaninov’s Sonata no. 2 and the complete Etudes-Tableaux op. 33 (Grand Prix du disque, 1986). She studied additionally with Gyorgy Sandor and Leon Fleisher.

In 1987, she launched her professional career with a solo recital in Paris and a performance with the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Barenboim, appearances at MIDEM in Cannes and at the piano festival La Roque d’Anthéron, and her first recital in Tokyo. Hélène has since performed with many of the world’s major orchestras and renowned conductors.

At 21, Grimaud moved to Florida, United States and later lived outside New York City. After some time spent in Berlin, she currently resides in Switzerland.

Hélène is known for her passion for wolves, which she studies and raises. She now divides her time between her musical career and the Wolf Conservation Center, which she co-founded with her then-companion, the photographer J. Henry Fair. She also experiences synesthesia, where one physical sense adds input to another, for example tasting words, or in her case, seeing music as color.

She performed at the "Last Night of the BBC Proms" in London in September 2008, playing the piano part of Beethoven's Choral Fantasia.


For more about Hélène, visit her Website at-
(Photos by M. Hennek @


1 comment:

  1. Helene, is awesome most of the time! She is an honest pianist ... I love her best when she is vibrant and full of life ... she gives the incredible performances ... that move me to the mythical realms and beyond.