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Huguette Dreyfus (Harpsichord)

Born: November 30, 1928 - Mulhouse, Alsace, France

The French harpsichordist, Huguette (Pauline) Dreyfus, began taking piano lessons at four years old. In 1946, she began working with renowned piano teacher Lazare Lévy. She studied piano, harmony and counterpoint at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. Having learned that pianist Norbert Dufourcq was to give special classes on the music of J.S. Bach (in recognition of the bicentennial of Bach's death) at the Conservatoire National Supérior de Musique in Paris, she entered into the class and remained there for four years, graduating in 1950. In addition to her piano class, she also studied the harpsichord at the Académie Chigiana de Sienne under Ruggero Gerlin who, himself, was a student of harpsichord-reviver Wanda Landowska. In 1958 she won 1st Medal at the International Harpsichord Competition in Geneva.

Huguette Dreyfus became a prominent figure of ancient Renaissance music and of the revival of the harpsichord in France. She has appeared as soloist on ORTF and numerous other Radio and TV networks in France. Her international tours have taken her to South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Equador, Italy, Luxembourg, Peru, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and USA. While she has concentrated on the music of J.S. Bach, François Couperin, Scarlatti, and Rameau, her repertoire also includes adventuresome scores by contemporary composers. Her favourite instrument is a harpsichord from Johann Heinrich Hemsch, a German harpsichord maker. His best instruments were made in Paris in the 18th century and are often comparable to those made by Blanchet, another celebrated harpsichord maker.

Huguette Dreyfus was professor for harpsichord at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1967. She also taught at Sorbonne in Paris, and at the Conservatoire National Supérior de Lyon (CNSMD de Lyon). She taught as well as part of the International Academy of Organ and old music of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, at the Villecroze Academy of Old Music, and at the Conservatoire National de Région de Rueil-Malmaison. In this regard, the quality and the significant number of harpsichordists who identify with her teaching, such as Christophe Rousset, Olivier Beaumont, Yannick Le Gaillard, Noëlle Spieth, and Jory Vinikour is eloquent. She is part of the jury of the International Harpsichord Competition of Paris.

Recordings: J.S. Bach: 6 English Suites, 6 French Suites; Rameau Pieces de Clavecin; Scarlatti: Chronological Anthology of 70 Sonatas; Seixas: 14 Sonatas; Béla Bartók: Pieces from Mikrokosmos; Chamber music by J.S. Bach, Leclair, Rameau, Haydn, Antonio Vivaldi, Arcangelo Corelli, C.P.E. Bach and W.A. Mozart; J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto (BWV 971), Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue (BWV 903), Inventions & Sinfonias (BWV 772-801), 6 Partitas, French Overture, 4 Duets (BWV 802-805), Prelude, Fugue & Allegro in E flat major, Goldberg Variations (BWV 988); Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: 9 Fantasien. She received numerous Grand Prix for her recordings.

Her numerous concerts, master-classes, and recordings permitted her to work with numerous musical personalities: Eduard Melkus (France), Christian Lardé, Luciano Sgrizzi, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Pierre Boulez, Paul Kuentz, Bruno Amaducci, Andreas Adorjan, Lionel Rogg, Karl Scheit, Gerald Sonneck, Alfred Planyavsky, Hans Jürg Lange, Jean-Pierre Rampal, etc.

Her honours include: Officier de l'Ordre national de Merite in 1973, and Prix de Président de la République de l'Academie Charles Cross in 1985.



Source: International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93); Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2006)

Huguette Dreyfus: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

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Huguette Dreyfus (Wikipedia)

 

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