Isabelle Faust, violin (Germany) and Florent Boffard, piano (France)Classical Tour
One of the most exciting violinists to have emerged from Germany in recent years, Isabelle Faust has the ability to delight and stun audiences in equal measure with the virtuosity, sensitivity and passion of her playing. Awarded the coveted Gramophone Young Artist of the Year award in 1997, her recent CD of works by Janácek, Lutoslawski and Szymanowski was selected as one of the ‘Best Classical CDs of 2003’ by the New York Times. On her Music Network tour of Ireland, Isabelle will perform with the award-winning French pianist Florent Boffard in eight venues around Ireland from April 21-28 as part of Music Network’s 2004 Spring Season. Their programme will include Bach’s Sonata for Violin and Keyboard in C minor BWV 1017, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 96, Strauss’s Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18 and Statues by Northern Irish composer Elaine Agnew. This tour is made possible by kind assistance from the Goethe Institute.
Isabelle Faust has toured extensively throughout Europe as well as in Israel and Japan, performing with major orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Her considerable repertoire extends from the Baroque period through to contemporary works by Jörg Widmann, Morton Feldman and György Ligeti. She studied with Christoph Poppen and Denes Zsigmondy and won the international Leopold-Mozart-Competition in Augsburg in 1987 and the Premio Paganini in Genoa in 1993. In 1995 Isabelle gave her US début performing Paganini's first Violin Concerto with the Utah Symphony Orchestra under Joseph Silverstein. In the 2001/2002 season she performed in Bucharest, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Stavanger and Dresden under such conductors as Sakari Oramo, Jiri Belohlavek and Zoltán Peskó.
Isabelle Faust has also performed with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Camerata Academica Salzburg, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gary Bertini, and the Frankfurter Museumsorchester under Michael Gielen. In the current season she will perform new works by Widmann and by the Danish composer Lars Graugaard. An avid chamber musician, her partners include Alexander Melnikov, Ewa Kupiec, Florent Boffard, Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Joseph Silverstein, Bruno Giuranna, Thomas Riebl, Tabea Zimmermann, Boris Pergamenschikow and Clemens Hagen.
Florent Boffard began his musical studies at the National Conservatory of Lyon at age twelve. He went on to study at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris, where he won the Premier Prix de Piano and the Premier Prix de Musique de Chambre. He continued his studies at the Conservatory, where his teachers included Yvonne Loriad, Geneviève Joy and Germaine Mounier. In 1982, he won the International Claude KAHN Piano Competition in Paris and the following year won the International Vianna da Motta Piano Competition in Lisbon. From 1988 to 1999, Florent Boffard was soloist of the Ensemble InterContemporain, where he worked with several of today’s most prominent composers including Boulez, Donatoni, and Legeti. His discography includes Boulez’ Structures for two pianos with Pierre-Laurent Aimard (DGG), Berio’s Sequenza for piano (DGG) and Bartók’s 2nd Sonata for violin and piano with Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi). In 2001 he recorded a new Debussy CD for Harmonia Mundi and also Bartók’s Etudes pour piano.
He has played in numerous festivals including Salzburg, Berlin, Bath, Brussels, Holland Festival, Aspen, Kuhmo, La Roque d’Anthéron, and has performed under such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, Leon Fleisher and David Robertson. In 1997, Florent Boffard was appointed professor at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris. In 2001, he received the Belmont Prize from the Forberg-Schneider Foundation (Munich) for his commitment to contemporary music.
On Tour: Wed 21 Apr Monaghan (Market House, 9pm), Thurs 22 Apr Enniskillen (Castle Coole, 8pm), Fri 23 Apr Armagh (Market Place Theatre, 8pm), Sat 24 Apr Lisburn (Island Arts Centre, Studio Theatre, 8pm), Sun 25 Apr Mullingar (Mullingar Arts Centre, 8pm), Mon 26 Apr Castlebar (Linenhall Arts Centre, 8pm), Tues 27 Apr Dublin (Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, 8pm), Wed 28 Apr Newbridge (Riverbank Arts Centre, 8pm)
"Isabelle Faust makes another exciting foray into the 20th-century repertory… her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music's hidden strains of lyricism. "- New York Times