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.


Artist Videos

“The highlights of the festival came from Cédric Pescia and Philippe Cassard. They played Debussy’s two-piano arrangement of Schumann’s Op 56 Studies for the pedal piano, a long-obsolete instrument that emulated the organ by giving the piano a pedal board. These studies are now most often heard in organ recitals, where some of the pieces take on a kind of fairground music feel. It was good to hear them in more sensitive and shapely accounts that more accurately reflect their true nature. And it was Pescia and Cassard who brought the festival to a blazing close, in Liszt’s two-piano arrangement of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony. Pescia and Cassard have already recorded the two-piano Beethoven Choral Symphony, in Berlin last year, on a pair of Bechstein concert grands. The clarity of the recording studio was not delivered on Steinways in New Ross, but the spirit of the music was just as well served in a reading where the shape and grandeur of the music – and, of course, some glorious and not so glorious moments of pianistic clamour – brought the audience leaping to their feet.” Irish Times, September 2021

“Cassard strikes a dapper figure and his playing is elegant without being unnecessarily showy. Waltzes were dispatched with the lightest of touches, wistfully teasing the line….But it is in Debussy that Cassard is truly at home, cradling and caressing phrases as if discovering them for the first time.” WIGMORE HALL RECITAL, Bachtrack, November 2017

“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

Concert Repertoire

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 in C Op 15
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat Op 19
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor Op 37
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 in G Op 58
Beethoven Triple Concerto Op 56
Brahms Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor Op 15
Brahms Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat Op 83
Chopin Variations on 'La ci darem la mano' Op 2
d'Indy Symphonie sur des thèmes montagnards
De Falla Nights in the Gardens of Spain
Debussy Fantasie in G
Fauré Ballade Op 19
Françaix Concertino
Franck Symphonic Variations Op 46
Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16
Hindemith Four Temperaments
Liszt Malediction
Mozart Concerto for three pianos in F K242
Mozart Concerto for two pianos in E flat K365
Mozart Piano Concerto No 12 in A K414
Mozart Piano Concerto No 19 in F K459
Mozart Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor K466
Mozart Piano Concerto No 21 in C K467
Mozart Piano Concerto No 22 in E flat K482
Mozart Piano Concerto No 23 in A K488
Mozart Piano Concerto No 25 in C K503
Mozart Piano Concerto No 27 in B flat K595
Mozart Piano Concerto No 9 in E flat K271
Rachmaninov Variations on a theme of Paganini
Ravel Piano Concerto in D (left hand)
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor Op 54
Strauss (Richard) Burleske in D minor
Symphony No 9 Beethoven/Liszt
La Dolce Vita LDV82
Claire de Lune (Recital disc with Natalie Dessay) Debussy
Virgin Classics 730768-2
Petite Suite (Piano Duets with François Chaplin) Debussy
Decca B006MYKZ5I
Préludes Debussy
Accord 472 335-2
Ballade/Fantasie Fauré
La Dolce Vita LDV32
Concertino Françaix
Hyperion CDA67384
Lieder ohne Worte Mendelssohn
Sony Classical 88985422272
Impromptus Schubert
Accord 480 0441
Sonatas D845&D850 Schubert
La Dolce Vita LDV72
Sonata D959 (Piano Duets with Cédric Pescia) Schubert
Harmonia Mundi LDV15
Sonatas D960&D664 Schubert
Ambroise AMB9923
Fantasiestücke, etc Schumann
Ambroise AMB9961