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Madeleine Malraux (Piano)

Born: April 7, 1914 - Toulouse, France

The French pianist, Madeleine Malraux, was into a family whose father was a musician. At age 14, she entered the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique (CNSM) in Paris to study piano with Marguerite Long, and in 1934 and won a first prize. Thus began her career as professor of the upper classes in piano at the Conservatoire de Toulouse and concert pianist. She mainly performed Erik Satie, whose music was played very little in those days, and she particularly liked.

In 1943 she married Roland Malraux, journalist, resistant, and brother of André Malraux. Her husband was arrested in March 1944 and died in exile a few days before liberation. Their son, Alain Malraux, was born on June 11, 1944. Madeleine Malraux went to Paris with her son and settled with his brother, the writer and politician André Malraux, whose son name was also Alain. In March 1948, André Malraux married Madeleine, who looks after three children, Gauthier, Vincent et Alain and puts her career aside. André Malraux dedicated to her his Voix du Silence (Voices of Silence), a collection of reflections on art published in 1951. In 1959, she joined André Malraux, Minister of Culture at the Royal Palace, travelled a lot, and met many renowned people of the world.

In 1966, Madeleine and André Malraux separated. She left the USA after 25 years of life with him and began her new career as a concert pianist. Since she has given concerts around the world, including with Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall in New York. She has performed mainly Erik Satie, her favourite composer, but also Debussy, Dmitri Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Since her appointment in 1986 as Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (chevalier de l’ordre de la Légion d’honneur), she has appeared in series of concerts, expanded annualy her repertoire of romantic and contempory works, always with a deep respect for their respective styles.

During 2001 alone, she played in Tokyo, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Meanwhile at a symposium in Brest and in the presence of former Prime Minister Messmer, she stunned the organizers with an hour recital, for which she spent four hours in rehearsal to learn the piano at her disposal. Since, in addition to recitals in Japan, Tokyo, featuring works by Saties, performed with unfailing skill she played Salies-de-Béarn, and made in Paris several times full house at the Théatre du Musée de la Vie Romantique, that of the Archipel, and many others, when she played various piano works alternating with François Marthouret as reciting texts by Erik Satie shaped by her friend Karin Müller. She also gave at the Abbaye de Royaumont a magnificient recital playing without a score.

Her piano skills are presented in the documentary by Jean-Rene Boyer, Le mystere Malraux. In this TV movie, filmed in high definition, she agrees to testify publicly for the years where she was, alongside her husband, the best ambassador French culture. She has also supported the wider commemoration organized at rue de Valois, in November 2006, the 13th anniversary of the death of the founder of Ministry of Culture and Communication.

During fall 2008, she was back to Tokyo, giving recitals. She was again in Japan in 2009-2010 seasons for recording, on NHK, the Japanese Public Television System, fantaisies of Louis Couperin (1626-1667), master of the 17th century harpsichord.

The prosecution and the richness of her talented music activities since 1986, both in France and worldwide, have been recognized by her promotion to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor on April 19, 2010. On this occasion, she gave a wonderful recital, at rue de Valois. She is also patron of the painter Darius (Darius Hecq-Cauquil), who makes the drawings of her concert programmes in Japan, after the shingles of Frederick (1944-2005) who was also a brilliant painter, hyper-realistic disappeared too early.

Source: Qobuz Website (2010) & Madeleine Malraux Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (February 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2011)

Madeleine Malraux: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Madeleine Malraux - Pianiste Concertiste (Official Website) [French]
Madeleine Malraux (Wikipedia) [French]

Madeleine Malraux aux Nuits du Château de la Moutte (Qobuz) [French]
Madeleine Malraux, la dame d'espoir (Le Figaro) [French]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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