Philippe Cassard

Philippe Cassard has established a distinguished international reputation as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician since giving a joint recital with Christa Ludwig in Paris in 1985. The same year he was finalist at the Clara Haskil Competition and in 1988 he won the first prize at the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition.

His concerto appearances include performances with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, the Hungarian National Philharmonic, and the Danish Radio Symphony. He has worked with many conductors including Jeffrey Tate, Sir Alexander Gibson, Vladimir Fedossejev, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Raymond Leppard, Charles Dutoit, Armin Jordan, Marek Janowski, Emmanuel Krivine and Thierry Fischer.

His performance of the complete piano works of Debussy (four recitals in a single day) received extremely enthusiastic press and media coverage. He has presented the cycle in London at the Wigmore Hall, Dublin, Paris, Marseille, Lisbon, Sydney, Vancouver, Singapore and Tokyo. He is currently giving a series of recitals at the Wigmore Hall under the title Debussy Perspectives. He also visits China, Australia and Canada regularly. Artists such as Donna Brown, Wolfgang Holzmair, Anne Gastinel, David Grimal, the Chilingirian and Ysaÿe String Quartets are all regular collaborators. He is Natalie Dessay’s exclusive recital accompanist. They have recorded two recital discs together and performed in major venues worldwide including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Bolshoi Zal in St Petersburg.

As a solo artist Philippe Cassard has recorded for several companies including Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, and Accord-Universal. His recordings include Debussy’s complete piano works, Schubert’s Sonatas, Impromptus Op 90 and Op 142, Moments Musicaux and Klavierstücke, Brahms’s Klavierstücke Op 116-119, chamber music by Beethoven and Janacek, and songs by Fauré and Debussy. His recording of Schumann’s Humoresque and Fantasiestücke op.12 was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine and FM Magazine “Best Buy”. He has recently released a recording of Schubert Piano Duets with Cédric Pescia for Harmonia Mundi.

Philippe Cassard was Artistic Director of the Festival “Nuits Romantiques du Lac du Bourget” (1999-2007), and since 2005, he recently celebrate his 400th programme on France Musique Radio dedicated to piano interpretation.

“Mr. Cassard played beautifully throughout, his musicality admirable in moments like the introduction to Brahms’s “Lerchengesang” (“Lark Song”).” RECITAL WITH NATALIE DESSAY, New York Times, March 2014

“The world class level of his performance is unmistakable from the very first moments…” SCHUMANN RECORDING (Ambroise) Malcolm Hayes in Classic FM Magazine – February 2005

“Here is a disc of fine Schumann playing, superbly recorded and on a beautifully voiced piano…a recital that merits the highest praise.” SCHUMANN RECORDING (Ambroise) Jeremy Nicholas in Gramophone (Editor’s Choice) – February 2005

“Cassard’s piano sound is rich in shades and colours, he has a light but firm touch and it seems that his artistic personality is devoid of all extremes…the piano was virtually singing under his hands.”
BUDAPEST PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY Tünde Szita in New Musical Herald – May 2003

“Cassard draws you into Debussy’s works with drama and contrast.” DEBUSSY DAY IN SINGAPORE Tan Shzr Ee in Straits Time, Singapore – May 2003

“…hats off to Cassard for his sensitive voicing, liquid phrasing and judicious overall pacing; he makes all these things seem far easier to achieve than they actually are.” SCHUBERT SONATAS
David Fanning in Gramophone – March 2003

“…Cassard’s command of colouring, idiom and nuance made the experience into one that constantly gripped the imagination and kept concentration intact over a broad musical spectrum…..Cassard spun a fine lyrical line, using delicacy and filigree flourishes as a means to a musical end, but he was not afraid to bring musicle and explosive spontaneity to bear either.” WIGMORE HALL RECITAL
Geoffrey Norris in The Daily Telegraph – December 2002

“…it was rewarding to hear Cassard present a programme full of high musical challenges and do justice to it…impeccable control of tone, volume and textural balance was at service of deep-thinking musicianship…The sonata became a musical drama, as the character of each movement was judged for its relation to its neighbours, contrasts within movements were pointed up vigorously, and the many corners were turned as if each was opening up a new discovery. A treat!” DUBLIN CASTLE RECITAL
Martin Adams in The Irish Times – November 2002

“Tortelier and Philippe Cassard did wonders with the slow movement, lingering over its delicate gestures as though it were one of Debussy’s great masterpieces.” DEBUSSY FANTASIE/BBC PHILHARMONIC
Pauline Fairclough in The Guardian – February 2002

“…in the sympathetic hands of French virtuoso Philippe Cassard, it presaged the colourful musical landscape that Debussy would late navigate so magically.” DEBUSSY FANTASIE/BBC PHILHARMONIC
David Harrison in The Manchester Evening News – February 2002

“Cassard showed wonderfully sensitive rubato in the second movement, and his cadenzas showed imagination as well as technique.” MOZART K467/EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
DT Baker in The Edmonton Journal – April 2001

“As an all-day experience for the listener, this Debussy Day was both exacting and stimulating. For Cassard it was a singular triumph, and as a 10th anniversary gesture towards the country which helped launch his international career, it has firmly left the larger debt with us.” NATIONAL GALLERY, DUBLIN

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