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
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.