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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet  Biography
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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

The brilliant and charismatic French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is rapidly gaining high acclaim for his virtuosity and artistry and is in much demand by international orchestras, conductors and concert halls. His recent appearances in major musical centres have created a powerful impact amongst audiences and press alike.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet began playing the piano in his very early years in Metz. Showing rare technical talent and artistic imagination in his youth he then undertook intensive advanced studies with three of the world's most distinguished teachers. At the Paris Conservatoire he was the last pupil of the legendary Pierre Sancan, and he extended his studies further with Alexander Edelman, and Dimitri Bashkirov in Salzburg. In 1986 he took the first prize in the International Beethoven Competition in Cologne, and three years later he attracted international attention when he was awarded the Steven de Groote Chamber Music Prize at the Van Cliburn Competition. The juries were struck by his outstanding fluency, brilliant range of colours and artistic imagination.

Soon Jean-Efflam Bavouzet was engaged for concertos by many of the world's leading conductors including Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, Michel Plasson, Kent Nagano, David Atherton and Andrew Litton. At the personal invitation of Sir Georg Solti, he was engaged to play with the Orchestre de Paris, winning outstanding critical acclaim. At the same time he began an intensive programme of recitals, winning particular popularity in the United States and Canada. His US career began with the Young Concert Artists management in 1986, since when his appearances at New York's 92nd Street "Y" and Washington's Kennedy Centre have received particular accolades.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has made a very strong impact on the extremely demanding audiences and critics of Russia. He was the first non-Russian artist to be invited to perform at the Sarov Festival in the 'forbidden city', and he is a frequent guest at the Sakharov Festival in Ninzi Novgorod, where he will perform the entire Prokofiev Piano Concerti in November 1999. He will repeat this programme with the Orchestre de Paris in October 2000.

The qualities in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's playing which have especially struck his audiences and the press are the striking combination of opposites, from powerful dramatic temperament to intense controlled stillness. His brilliant virtuosity and yet expressive poetry have strongly impressed in music by composers as diverse as Liszt, Bartok, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Haydn, Chopin, Debussy, Schumann and Ravel. Le Monde's chief music critic Alain Lompech has written "Bavouzet is probably the finest French pianist today".

The recording industry soon signed Jean-Efflam Bavouzet for projects which were to win major awards. A Schumann recital and a Haydn recital were both voted the Best Recording of the Year by Le Monde. The recital of pieces by Haydn also won him the "Choc" award, one of the major international recording prizes. His recording of Bartok's First Piano/Violin Sonata, with Laurent Korcia, has also brought him the "Choc" Monde de la Musique award and the highest rating in Classica. He recently made the world premiere recording of the complete Ohana Etudes, shortly to be released, and he has also recently recorded Debussy's Etudes and a Chopin recital for Pony Canyon Classics in Japan. This spring (1999) he starts recording for ECM/Polygram with the complete piano solo works of Ravel.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet married Andrea Nemecz in 1989. They have two daughters.

Jon Tolansky

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