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Béatrice Martin (Harpsichord)

Born: Annecy (Rhône-Alpes), France

The French harpsichordist, Béatrice Martin, began studying the harpsichord at age 6. Her musical career gave her a chance to study with legendary harpsichordists, such as Christiane Jaccottet at the Geneva Conservatory of Music and Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset, at the Paris Higher National Conservatory of Music. She was awarded many First Prizes there and won the highest honour. She then completed a post-graduate course (aptly named “perfecting course”) and was lucky enough to be personally advised by Huguette Dreyfus, Ton Koopman and Lars Ulrik Mortensen, whom she met during master-classes. In 1998, she won First Prize of the Brugge International Harpsichord Competition, , a prize only masters Scott Ross and Christophe Rousset have ever been awarded. She was also singled out as “favourite audience artist” and received the Bärenreiter Publishers prize. A year later, she was chosen for “Artist Revelation” by the ADAMI, during the Cannes MIDEM.

Béatrice Martin has been invited by numerous festivals, such as Ambronay, La Roque d’Anthéron, Festival de Lanvellec, Festival Couperin, Festival du Jeune Soliste in Antibes, the Brussels Printemps Baroque du Sablon, the Utrecht, Girona and Daroca festivals, French Harpsichordists Cycle in Mexico, the “Folles Journées” in Nantes (J.S. Bach, from Monteverdi to Vivaldi programme...) and the Festa di Musica in Lisbon. In Paris she performed at the Théâtre du Châtelet concert seasons (“Midis Musicaux” lunch time concerts), the Cité de la Musique (Intégrale Couperin and Rameau, From J.S. Bach to Haendel and Figures de la Passion concert cycles) and at the Musée Grévin, and abroad for the Tokyo Opera and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City…

Highly esteemed for her natural talent as a continuo player, Béatrice Martin regularly performs with Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, Le Concert Spirituel, Ricercar Consort and Il Seminario Musicale, as well as with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. She has been involved in numerous artistic projects with Les Arts Florissants, taking part in many operas and oratorios, playing as a soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerti or recording about ten CD’s and DVD’s, including George Frideric Handel’s Theodora, Rameau’s Zoroastre, Capra’s Great Motets, Monteverdi’s Vespers and contributed to a disc devoted to Lully, with that ensemble. She is close to William Christie and regularly acts as his musical assistant - at the Comédie Française in 2006, for instance.

Béatrice Martin is particularly keen on French music, hence her Boismortier recording with Le Concert Spirituel (Suites pour clavecin, Sérénades and Daphnis et Chloé). She is also interested in 20th-century music and has played works by Francis Poulenc, Martinu, Wanek, Carter and Ligeti - to name but a few - at the Geneva Archipel Festival, the Lyon Musicades, the Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence, and recorded some contemporary music with the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester-Berlin.

In 2000, Béatrice Martin founded the ensemble Les Folies Françoises, together with violinist and concertmaster Patrick Cohën-Akenine. She has put a lot of time and energy into developing the ensemble, recording discs of French arias with soprano Patricia Petibon, 17th-century Italian music, and French cantatas (Nicolas Berniers’ Nuits de Sceaux). She gave about 200 concerts in France and abroad with Les Folies Françoises and recorded recently four CD’s devoted to J.S. Bach’s work: the Dialogo Cantatas (Cypres), the complete violin and harpsichord sonatas (Fontmorigny), awarded by “Le Monde de la Musique”.

Widely acknowledged to be a natural-born educationalist, Béatrice Martin was appointed permanent harpsichord teacher at the Escola Superior de Mùsica de Catalunya (Barcelona, in 2001. She regularly takes part in master-classes organized by festivals and schools. Since 2005, she is a teacher of the Académie Baroque d’Orléans. She was a member of the Jury of International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges 2010.

Source: Cypres Records Website (Photo 11: © Philippe Parent); Les Folies Françoises Website (Photo 12: Damien Guffroy); Béatrice Martin Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2011)

Béatrice Martin: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Patrick Cohën-Akenine


BWV 32, BWV 49, BWV 57

Links to other Sites

Béatrice Martin - clavecin (Official Website) [French]
Béatrice Martin (Cypres)

Béatrice Martin, harpsichord & singing coach (Les Folies Françoises)

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