In 1982, Brigitte Engerer saw her name cross the borders, earning a reputation for excellence that she would never fail to uphold: she was the sole young French artist invited to participate in the centennial celebrations of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to appearing as soloist in two concerts conducted by Rostropovich, she participated in the jubilee concert conducted by Seiji Ozawa alongside Yehudi Menuhin, Gidon Kremer, Alexis Weissenberg and two other young soloists: Anne-Sophie Mutter and Krystian Zimerman. Even though she was still a very young woman at the time, the distance that Brigitte Engerer had already covered was considerable, as she had come to music at an early age. She began her musical studies at the age of four and climbed up on stage to give her first concert when she was six. At 11, she enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire in the class of Lucette Descaves, obtaining a premier prix in piano when she was 15, becoming a prize-winner at the Marguerite Long Competition the following year. At 17, she took a great leap into the unknown: this native of Tunis accepted the invitation from the Moscow Conservatory and set off to study in Russia. ‘Brigitte Engerer is one of the most brilliant and most original pianists of her generation. Her playing is characterised by her artistic sense, her romantic spirit and range, the perfection of her technique, as well as an innate skill of connecting with the audience.’ So said Stanislas Neuhaus, who was her professor for five years. The lessons of this great master and magnificent pianist would mark her indelibly and influence her entire career and musical thinking. Laureate of the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Competitions, in 1980 she came to the attention of Herbert von Karajan, who invited her to play with the Berlin Philharmonic then participate in the famous celebrations of the Orchestra’s centenary. After that, Daniel Barenboim asked her to perform with the Orchestre de Paris, and Zubin Mehta with the New York Philharmonic. Thus began a fabulous international career with brilliant debuts in Berlin, Paris, Vienna and New York, where she triumphed at Carnegie Hall. Invited by the most prestigious orchestras (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, London, Vienna, Montreal, Toronto and Detroit, Minnesota Orchestra, NHK Symphony of Tokyo, Belgian National Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, etc.), she has played under such conductors as Kondrashin, Neumann, Bender, Krivine, Casadesus, Bertini, Chailly, Rowicki, Leitner, Foster, López-Cobos, Lombard, Fedosseyev, Simonov, Plasson, Judd, Salonen, Kitaenko, Temirkanov, Herbig, Sado, Zollman, Jarvi… But Brigitte Engerer also likes to share and cannot imagine her life as a pianist without chamber music. Her partners have included pianists Boris Berezovsky, Oleg Maisenberg and Hélène Mercier, violinists Olivier Charlier and Dmitri Sitkovetzky, cellists Henri Demarquette, David Geringas and Alexander Kniazev, violist Gérard Caussé and even Laurence Equilbey and the Accentus Chamber Chorus. The bonds she has created with these artists are so strong and intimate that music seems to spring up spontaneously between them, for the great pleasure of the audience, and in particular at the Pianoscope Festival, which she has organised in Beauvais every October since 2006, ‘for it is necessary to feel close so that music open up the heavens, as Baudelaire dreamt’ (Brigitte Engerer). Sharing also means passing on the precious teaching that she received, through master classes that she gives regularly in Berlin, Nice, Birmingham, Paris and Tokyo. Throughout her career, she has recorded numerous discs for prestigious labels such as Philips (Schumanns’s Carnaval, Op. 9 and Carnival of Vienna, awarded the Grand Prix du Disque), Denon, Warner (L’invitation au Voyage with Henri Demarquette, ‘Choc’ du Monde de la Musique, and Hymne à la nuit, ‘RTL d’Or’). To this untiring quest of musical verity she brings the sum of her talents; between digital Infallibility and the instability of feelings, Brigitte Engerer plays the tightrope walker… to perfection: she is an artist. Brigitte Engerer is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Officer of Merit and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. She is also a corresponding member of the Institut de France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts. Brigitte Engerer has received the “Victoire d’Honneur” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2011.
BRIGITTE ENGERER “VICTOIRE D’HONNEUR”
at the “Victoires de la Musique Classique 2011” Live broadcasted on France3 TV : “Schubert Trio no 2 opus 100” Brigitte Engerer, piano with Olivier Charlier, violin & Henri Demarquette, cello
BRIGITTE ENGERER “VICTOIRE D’HONNEUR”
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