“Poetry fused with breathtaking technical perfection” (Concertclassic) and “A master- colourist with genius-like ability” (Classical Source) is how the brilliant young French pianist Emmanuel Despax was described after his recent acclaimed recitals at the Louvre auditorium in Paris and Wigmore Hall in London. For this debut orchestral CD release, he joins the Orpheus Sinfonia conducted by Thomas Carroll in a live performance at London’s Cadogan Hall.
Emmanuel Despax is fast making a name for himself as a musician on the rise, performing internationally and broadcast on many radio stations including France Musique and BBC Radio 3, and on Medici TV. Recent highlights include recitals in Paris, Amsterdam and a performance of three piano concertos at Cadogan Hall. Emmanuel is also a regular performer at Wigmore Hall.
In his native France he has appeared in prestigious venues such as Paris’s Salle Gaveau, the Louvre auditorium and La Roque d’Anthéron. Elsewhere in Europe he has given recitals at the Fazioli Auditorium in Italy, the Gasteig Blackbox in Munich and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Belgium.
At 13 he gained a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School where Ruth Nye, one of Claudio Arrau’s finest students, recognized his talent and had a profound effect on Emmanuel’s developing musicality. On gaining a full scholarship to the Royal College of Music, Emmanuel won numerous awards including the Chappell Medal and the Tagore Gold medal, presented to him by HRH The Prince of Wales. During this time Emmanuel gave his London concerto debut, performing Brahms’ First Piano Concerto under Andrew Litton with the RCM Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout his studies, he also participated in masterclasses and worked with such eminent musicians as Nikolai Demidenko, Leon Fleisher, John Lill, Dominique Merlet, Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Murray Perahia and András Schiff.
Now based in London, Emmanuel has performed with many UK orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony, the London Festival Orchestra in their Virtuoso Pianists Series at Cadogan Hall and Arion Orchestra at St James’s Piccadilly. In addition to his recitals at the Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, Emmanuel has also performed at the National Portrait Gallery, the Drapers’ Hall and the Chipping Campden and Petworth Festivals.
On graduating Emmanuel won the Dudley International Piano Competition and the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition – the resulting Wigmore Hall recital was recorded live and released on the Jaques Samuel Label.