A truly multi-faceted and charismatic artist, for pianist Hélène Grimaud music is a limitless passion. In great demand as a performer, she works with conductors, orchestras and chamber musicians of the highest calibre, and records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon.
Born and educated in Aix-en-Provence, Hélène Grimaud entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris at the age of 12 where she studied under Jacques Rouvier, György Sándor and Leon Fleisher.
A highly praised recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No. 2 and a Cannes Classical Award at MIDEM followed in her late teens; the latter’s live broadcast prompted Daniel Barenboim to invite her to audition for him. Thereafter came an invitation to the Orchestre de Paris and a string of high profile engagements, including her first performance at La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival and her debut recital in Tokyo.
Since then Hélène Grimaud’s career has become truly global, establishing a regular pattern of musical collaborations at the highest level in leading music centres. She has appeared with all the most important orchestras of the world playing with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouw Orchestra, all the London orchestras, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Münchner Philharmoniker, as well as all the great North American symphonies.
Hélène Grimaud has performed with three generations of conductors, including Kurt Masur, Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Pierre Boulez, Ricardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Jurowski, Fabio Luisi and Andris Nelsons. She was soloist at the Last Night of the BBC Proms 2008.
The 2009/10 season sees her tour Europe with Daniel Harding and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She also returns to the Berliner Philharmoniker with Tugan Sokhiev.
An ardent and committed chamber musician, Hélène Grimaud performs regularly in the most prestigious festivals and cultural capitals with a wide range of collaborators including Thomas Quasthoff, Rolando Villazon, Jörg Widmann, Clemens Hagen, and Renaud and Gautier Capuçon. In 2009 she will perform debut recitals in China and Korea and further concerts in Europe.
Recordings have always been important in Hélène Grimaud’s creative activity. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002, Hélène is one of DG’s most important recording artists with a string of imaginative and highly successful discs. Most recently she recorded a disc of Bach’s solo works, transcriptions and the D minor Concerto, in which she directed the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen from the keyboard. Previous DGG recordings include a Beethoven disc featuring the Fifth Piano Concerto with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Vladimir Jurowski; ‘Reflection’, combining works by Johannes Brahms and both Robert and Clara Schumann; a Chopin/Rachmaninov recital disc; and ‘Credo’, featuring works by Beethoven and Pärt performed with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Her early catalogue includes highly praised releases on the Denon and Warner/Teldec labels encompassing the music of Liszt, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Strauss and Gershwin.
Recipient of numerous awards worldwide, Hélène Grimaud has been appointed ‘Officier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Ministère de la Culture in 2002 and ‘Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite’ in 2008. In 2005 she won the ECHO ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ Award.
Hélène Grimaud is author of two very successful books “Variations Sauvages” and “Leçons Particulières”, both published by Editions Robert Laffont. She champions many charitable causes, having founded the Wolf Conservation Center in upper New York State in 1999, and continues her strong support of the International Children’s Camp Villa Sans Souci, the Worldwide Fund for Nature and Amnesty International.