pianist composer arranger

Jacques Loussier

October 26, 1934 - Angers, France — March 5, 2019

The improvisation, composition and interpretation involved in Jacques Loussier’s work makes it hard to classify. Between popular and scholarly, his art is not easily apprehended. In fact, the artist hardly seems concerned about the customary categorisations of western scholarly music.

Born in Angers in 1934, Jacques Loussier laid the foundations for learning the piano. A graduate from Yves Nat’s class with a Premier Prix in piano, he moved away from the habitual careers destined for the prestigious recruits of the Paris Conservatoire. Following Jean-Claude Petit’s example, who through chance circumstances had discovered popular music while accompanying Sylvie Vartan, Jacques Loussier delved deeper into the joys of improvisation and arrangement with Catherine Sauvage and Charles Aznavour.

In 1959, with Christian Garros on drums and Pierre Michelot playing double bass, he founded the first Play Bach Trio. With this ensemble or as a soloist, Jacques Louissier revisited numerous repertoires from Bach to Beethoven, Mozart to Chopin. The multiple facets of his talent led him to compose for the television and cinema, in particularly for Jean-Pierre Melville for whom he wrote the music for Doulos in collaboration with Paul Misraki.

At the beginning of the 1960s, the world’s attitude to classical masterpieces considerably changed. On the one hand, the original editions followed one after another in the quest for the authentic interpretation, on the other, the accepted interpretations were questioned. At the crossroads of different musical styles and influences, Jacques Louissier created a personal musical style which ceaselessly pays homage to his multiple and rich influences.


  • Play Bach No.1, Decca, 1959.
  • Bach's Goldberg Variations, Telarc, 2000.
  • Haendel, Water Music, Royal Fireworks, Telarc, 2002.
  • Chopin, Impressions of Chopin's Nocturnes, Telarc, 2004.
  • Mozart, Piano Concertos 20/23, Telarc, 2005.
  • Bach, The Brandenburgs, Telarc, 2006.