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Olivier Baumont (Harpsichord)

Born: August 15, 1960 - France

The French harpsichordist, Olivier Baumont, was awarded two first prizes for harpsichord and chamber music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris in 1981 and 1982, the examiners' decision being unanimous on both occasions. After this, he studied with Huguette Dreyfus and Kenneth Gilbert, and was invited several times by Gustav Leonhardt to take part in his masterclasses in Cologne.

Olivier Baumont plays regularly at major festivals in France (Ambronay, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Evian, Ile-de France, La Roque d'Anthéron, Montpellier, Périgord Noir and Sablé), as well as in many other countries, including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Spain, the USA, the UK, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Holland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia and Switzerland. In addition to this, he has taken part in several radio and television broadcasts for France-Musiques, France-Culture, FR3, M6, Muzzik and Mezzo, Radio Suisse Normande and the BBC.

Although performing mainly as a soloist, Olivier Baumont also works with Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Davitt Moroney, Christine Plubeau, Isabelle and Hugo Reyne. He is particularly interested in theatre, and has worked with actors, including Manuel Blanc, Bérangère Dautin, Jean-Denis Monory, Nicolas Vaude and Nicolas Marié. He collaborated with the latter two in 1999, rehabilitating the Comédie-Ballet of Molière and Lully Le Mariage Forcé, which he conducted from the harpsichord. The theatrical adaptation of Diderot's Le Neveu de Rameau which he later made proved to be highly successful at the Ranelagh Theatre in Paris. He is also musical director of the Couperin en Concert festival, held at the Château de Champs-sur-Marne.

In 2001 Olivier Baumont performed in the UK, Italy and in Switzerland; in France he played at the Cité de la Musique (the complete harpsichord works by François Couperin and for the Figures de la Passion Exhibition) and in several festivals, including the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, the Festival du Périgord Noir and Octobre en Normandie. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, his activities took him to Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany and many French festivals. In 2005 performed in Brasil, Spain and many french festivals.

Olivier Baumont has made over 40 recordings, mainly as a soloist, and these have always been well reviewed by the international musical press. He recorded the complete harpsichord works by Rameau for Accord-Universal, and for the last ten years has collaborated by Erato-Warner Classic; completed projects include F. Couperin's harpsichord works (assisted by Radio France) and recordings of music by J.S. Bach, Georg Frideric Handel, Purcell, 18th-century Russian composers and American music of the age of enlightenment. He has also recorded Claude Balbastre's Quatre Suites de Noëls (organ, harpsichord and fortepiano) for the French Radio series: 'Tempéraments'. In 2002 he recorded a 2-CD album of Louis-Claude Daquin's complete harpsichord works (Tempéraments / Radio France), and in 2003, two CD's of the harpsichord music of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières (AS Musique) as well as a recital consisting of the musical portraits of friends of the artist Maurice Quentin de la Tour (Virgin Classics).

Olivier Baumont has also published several relatively unknown harpsichord works by Michel Corrette (Lemoine) and Duphly (L'Oiseau-Lyre), books on François Couperin (Découvertes-Gallimard) and Antonio Vivaldi (Gallimard-Jeunesse), and is at present preparing a preface to a facsimile edition of the copy J.S. Bach made of the Suites by Charles Dieupart (Minkoff). He has edited a 19th-century harpsichord piece Rigadon (1889) composed by Francis Thomé, shortly to be published by H. Lemoine.

Olivier Baumont often gives master-classes abroad, including the USA (Mekin Hall in New York), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro University), Russia (the French Institute in Moscow) and Switzerland (Festival Bach de Lausanne in association with the Geneva Conservatoire). In September 2001 he was appointed professor of harpsichord at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris.

Source: Olivier Baumont Website
Contributed by
Teddy Kaufman (December 2006)

Olivier Baumont: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Olivier Baumont (Official Website)
Olivier Baumont - Biography (AMG)

Olivier Baumont - Biographie (Ponticiello) [French]

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