Hervé Billaut is a sound storyteller. After having brought Isaac Albéniz’s Spain back to life in a remarkable complete recording of Iberia, his last two solo recordings dedicated to the music of Gabriel Fauré and Paul Dukas have been acclaimed by national and international critics (selection by The Guardian, “4 stars” by Classica, Maestro de Pianiste, 5 Diapasons…) who have given the same welcome to the four-handed disc “Wiener Rhapsodie” dedicated to Brahms and Schubert recorded with Guillaume Coppola. At the Roque d’Anthéron and at the Berlioz Festival where he is regularly invited, as in Granada, Paris, Toulouse or during the “Folle Journée”, the public followed him enthusiastically on these musical journeys, which the press reported admiringly.
For being a musician, according to this explorer of scores, means going beyond his brilliant pianistic technique to create a universe of sensations, impressions and colours. He, who knows so well how to transmit this requirement as a concert performer, soon became a sought-after teacher at the Conservatoire National de Région de Lyon, and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris where he taught for ten years.
But the teacher also underwent a rigorous apprenticeship: a gifted child, he studied with Germaine Mounier and Jean Hubeau in Paris, and at the age of sixteen he obtained the Conservatoire’s highest awards. At the age of nineteen, he won a Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long Competition, among numerous distinctions in important international competitions (Viotti-Valsesia, Vercelli, Epinal, Pretoria, Tokyo).
He then toured the world, playing in the largest cities, notably on the helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc, on which he performed his national service. From these travels, he brought back two essential riches: a magnificent repertoire, from Bach to Castereda, and stage experience acquired through contact with the most diverse audiences. Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel… he has performed them all over the world, from the Salle Pleyel to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Teàtro Real in Madrid. Thus, this cosmopolitan artist was responsible for the national premieres of Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand and Mozart’s “Young Man” Concerto in Ecuador. Recently, concert tours have taken him to South America, China, Japan and Korea.
The artistic relationships he has forged reveal an open and generous personality: A regular guest of the Maison de la Radio, he frequently takes part in France Musique broadcasts; a soloist with the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie and the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, he plays under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner, Yehudi Menuhin, David Reiland and Nicolas Chalvin ; a fervent chamber musician, he shares complicit moments with pianists Frank Braley, Philippe Cassard and Cédric Tiberghien, the Debussy Quartet, the Voce Quartet, violinists Stéphane Tran Ngoc and Naoko Ogihara, trumpet player David Guerrier, clarinetists Michel Portal, Florent Héau and Patrick Messina, flutist Jose Daniel Castellon, horn player Jacques Deleplancque, and reciter François Castang; An eternal researcher, he has never ceased to deepen his musical reflection in contact with personalities such as Marie-Françoise Bucquet and Jorge Chaminé or within the framework of the Kempff – Casa Orfeo Foundation in Positano; artistic director of the Rendez-Vous de Rochebonne, he proposes each year an original programme around great artists; a musician with a passion for dance, he collaborates with choreographers Jean-Christophe Maillot, John Neumeier and Roland Petit as a soloist with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.
“Music is an experience that allows one to free oneself from gravity” – Hervé Billaut has made his own this maxim by Leon Fleisher, which he reports with pride and humour: “One of my former students also flies aeroplanes! »
On stage, Hervé Billaut plays as he is: he goes straight to the point.