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Christophe Rousset


Christophe RoussetChristophe Rousset, founder of Les Talens Lyriques, is an internationally renowned
harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist with a passion for opera and European
music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
He studied harpsichord at La Schola Cantorum in Paris with Huguette Dreyfus, and
subsequently at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Bob van Asperen, winning
the prestigious First Prize in the 7th Bruges Harpsichord Competition at the age of
22. This was followed by the creation of his own ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, in
1991. At the heart of the ensemble is Rousset's academic research and specialism in the
music of the Baroque, Classical and pre-Romantic periods.
Having initially attracted the notice of the international press and record companies
with his extraordinary talent as a harpsichordist, he soon went on to make his mark as
a conductor, earning invitations to perform with his ensemble at venues throughout
the world (among them Paris Opera, De Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre des ChampsÉlysées,
Salle Pleyel, Opéra de Lausanne, Teatro Real, Theater an der Wien, Opéra
Royal de Versailles, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Barbican Centre, Carnegie Hall,
Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Aix-en-Provence and Beaune festivals).
Alongside this, he has continued to pursue an active career as harpsichordist and
chamber musician, performing and recording on the most beautiful period
instruments. His complete performances of the works for harpsichord of F. Couperin,
Rameau, d’Anglebert and Forqueray and various recordings of pieces by J. S. Bach
(Partitas, Variations Goldberg, Concertos for harpsichord, English Suites, French Suites,
the Klavierbüchlein) are considered to be landmark references. His most recent album
devoted to a musical monument by the German Cantor, Book II of the Well-Tempered
Clavier (Aparté) – recorded at the Château of Versailles on a harpsichord by Joannes
Ruckers (1628) –, has won numerous awards, including a “Choc” from Classica
magazine and “CD of the Week” from BBC Radio 3. In addition, instruments from the
collection of the Museum of Music in Paris have been entrusted to him for the recording
of three records devoted to Royer, Rameau and Froberger.
Teaching is also an aspect with major importance for Christophe Rousset, who conducts
and organises master classes and academies for young people (Accademia Musicale
Chigiana in Siena, CNSMD Paris, Académie d’Ambronay, Orchestre Français des Jeunes
Baroques, Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, the Britten-Pears
Orchestra) and he devotes himself with great energy, alongside the musicians of Les
Talens Lyriques, to introducing young secondary school pupils in Paris to music.
Christophe Rousset also has a career as guest conductor (Liceu Barcelona, San Carlo
Naples, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera of Wallonia, Orquesta Nacional de España,
among other orchestras) as well as the active pursuit of musical research, producing
critical editions and the publication by Actes Sud of a study on Rameau in 2007.
Christophe Rousset has been awarded the French honours of Commandeur in the Ordre
des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite.

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