French pianist Hélène Grimaud is not only a deeply passionate and committed musical artist, but also a wildlife conservationist, compassionate human rights activist, and a writer. Born in 1969 in Aix-en-Provence, France, Ms. Grimaud began her piano studies with Jacqueline Courtin before working with Pierre Barbizet in Marseille. She was accepted into the Paris Conservatory at age thirteen and later continued her studies with György Sándor and Leon Fleisher. Ms. Grimaud first appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in 1993 as a Shenson Young Artist and has since performed with the Orchestra many times.
Ms. Grimaud opened 2019 with performances of the Schumann Piano Concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Hamburg, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, and Vienna. She embarked on a recital tour of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium featuring repertory from her latest album Memory, which is comprised of miniatures by Chopin, Debussy, Satie, and Valentin Silvestrov. Her US engagements include performances of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto at venues including Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Recent highlights include a residency with the Gothenburg Symphony with whom she toured in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland; and appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. She also gave performances in Lucerne, Ludwigshafen, and Paris of a multimedia concert project Woodlands and beyond. . ., which she premiered at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in 2017.
Ms. Grimaud has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002. Her recordings have received the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), MIDEM Classic Award, and the ECHO Klassik Award. Her release, Duo, recorded with cellist Sol Gabetta won the 2013 ECHO Klassik Award for Chamber Recording of the Year. Other recent releases include Water, with music by Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt, Janáček, Debussy, and Nitin Sawhney; and Perspectives, a two-disc personal selection of highlights from her DG catalogue.
Ms. Grimaud established the Wolf Conservation Center in upstate New York in 1999. She is a member of the Musicians for Human Rights, a worldwide network of musicians and people working in the field of music to promote a culture of human rights and social change. Also an author, her first book Variations Sauvages was published 2003, followed by Leçons particulières in 2005, and Retour à Salem in 2013. She has been named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government.