After harpsichord studies at La Schola Cantorum in Paris with Huguette Dreyfus, and subsequently at the Conservatoire Royal in The Hague with Bob van Asperen (winning, at the age of 22, the prestigious First Prize in the 7th Bruges Harpsichord Competition), followed by the creation of his own ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, in 1991, Christophe Rousset has a perfect grasp of the rich wealth and diversity of the baroque and classical repertoires.
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 young and gifted conductor, earning invitations to perform with his ensemble at venues throughout the world (among them De Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 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. Performing on the instruments of the Musée de la Musique, he has recorded three CDs dedicated to Royer, Rameau and Froberger. The albums Suites by L. Couperin, Fantasy by J. S. Bach (Aparté) and the CD devoted to Marchand and Rameau (Ambronay), have won him the acclaim of the press. His most recent record, devoted to works by Duphly (Aparté) was recently awarded the distinctions “Choc” from the review Classica and a “Diapason d’or” from Diapason.
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.
© Eric Larrayadieu
Les Talens Lyriques – Festival de Saintes
Christophe Rousset, Philip Behrens – Sandrine Piau (Atalanta), Marcello Lippi (Ariodate) – Semperoper Dresden