|George C. BAKER|
|George C. Baker, organist, born in 1951, began studying the organ at the age of 10, following a solid initiation to the piano. He continued his studies Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas, then at Southern Methodist University (Texas).
During this time, he won the American Guild of Organists competition, thus becoming its youngest prize-winner.
He later went to France for advanced study with Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Langlais, before unanimously winning the Grand Prize in interpretation at the Chartres Competition.
His technical skills and architectural sense led him record one of the few existing versions of Darius Milhaud's organ music, as well as the complete organ works of J.S. Bach, which is currently in the process of being re-released by Solstice.
|"A phenomenon without equal in the history of the contemporary organ"
Thus did Marcel Dupré describe his student, Pierre Cochereau.
Organist at the church of Saint-Roch in Paris starting at the age of 18, he was barely 30 when appointed to the cathedral of Notre-Dame where his genius as an improviser would literally burst forth.
At the same time, he was director of the conservatories at Le Mans, then Nice, before being entrusted with setting up the National Conservatory at Lyon.
His innumerable tours across five continents made him a legendary figure of the organ.
From 1975 until his death in 1984, he recorded exclusively for Solstice.
|Born in Peyrehorade in the Landes, Marie-Catherine Girod obtains at the age of 15 a first Prize for piano and a first Prize of chamber Music at the Paris C.N.S.M. (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique), then the next year, a concert B.A. (first on the list) at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. During the 3rd perfecting cycle at the C.N.S.M., she meets Paul-Badura Skoda, whose advice she will receive for three years, as well as György Sebök. |
'Grand Prix Casagrande' and finalist Laureate in the Clara Haskil Contest, M.C. Girod has appeared in many concerts in France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain. She also has taken part in several festivals such as la Roque d'Anthéron and the Festival Estival in Paris.
Actually she is engaged in a double career of soloist and pedagogue. Since 2011, she is teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
|Fabio Grasso was born in Vercelli (Italy) in 1969. With an honours degree in
piano from the Turin Conservatory and another in composition from the Milan
Conservatory, he also earned a doctorate cum laude in Classical Greek
Literature from the University of Eastern Piedmont. He first studied piano
in Vercelli with Mario Barsolo and Jean Micault, then with Maria Tipo at
the Fiesole Music School, where he also studied composition with Giacomo
Manzoni. Later on, he attended advanced classes in piano with Marco Vincenzi
and, in Berlin, Klaus Hellwig, as well as composition with Franco Donatoni,
In 1996, at the 2nd International 20th-Century Piano Competition in Orléans (France), he won the Blanche Selva Grand Prize (First Prize) and the Maurice Ohana Prize for his interpretation of the composer's Piano Concerto. As a composer, he won First Prize at the 1996 "Ginastera" International Composition Competition in Buenos Aires with a work for guitar and orchestra (Katoptroeidès), premiered at the Teatro Colon in the capital of Argentina. In 1999, the jury of the "Télémaque Ensemble-Young Music Days" International Composition Competition in Marseilles unanimously awarded him the prize for his chamber score La sérénade aux tristes sourires, which, in addition, won the special audience award.
Fabio Grasso has written several other works in the chamber, symphonic (including a Piano Concerto), choral and lyric genres. He has performed his piano pieces in Paris, Berlin, Orléans, Nice, Montpellier, Colmar, Florence and Milan. His chamber works have been performed in Milan, Rome and at the 1998 Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam.
|Huguette Grémy-Chauliac, a student in the piano classes of Lucette Descaves and Yves Nat, she did not come to the harpsichord until later, being taught by Robert Veyron-Lacroix.
A professor at the Nice Conservatory and the American Academy in Paris, she has been performing since 1966.
The broad diversity of her repertoire has resulted in a number of world premiere recordings, and these have helped bring to light works by Pachelbel and Buxtehude, amongst others.
|Henri Ledroit was initially trained as a baritone, but in 1972, at the age of 26, he met Alfred Deller
who revealed his true nature as a counter-tenor. Henceforth cultivating this highly particular tessitura,
Henri Ledroit worked with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Clemencic and René Jacobs.
In 1979, he began an opera career studded with ever-increasing successes and culminating in 1987 Boston and New York performances of the mediæval epic poem Tristan et Yseult in which his acting talent rivalled that of the singer. He died the following year in Nancy.
From 1982 on, nearly all his recordings were made for Solstice.
|Throughout her long life, Yvonne Lefébure, born at the turn of the XXth century, divided her career between performing and teaching.
A child prodigy, at the age of 14 she won a First Prize in piano in the class of Alfred Cortot. Linked to the great musicians of her time (Fauré, Ravel, Dukas...), she became their favourite interpreter when not performing with such conductors as Furtwangler, Boult and Markevitch, or appearing with Pablo Casals.
Hers was an inquisitive mind, interested in everything, and she counted the painter Raoul Dufy and the philosopher Alain amongst her friends. Her passion for teaching took her from the Ecole Normale to the Conservatoire of Paris, with such prominent pupils as Dinu Lipatti or Samson François.
For the last ten years of her life, up until her death in 1986, she entrusted Solstice with recording the essentials of her artistic message.
|Pierre Pincemaille, organist, studied with Henri Challan, Jean-Claude Raynaud, Marcel Bitsch, Jacques Casterede and Rolande Falcinelli at the National Music Conservatory in Paris, where he was awarded five First Prizes: harmony, counterpoint, fugue, organ (interpretation and improvisation).
He then went on to win five successive Grand Prizes at the international competitions of Lyons (1978), Beauvais (l987), Strasbourg l989), Montbrison (1989) and Chartres (1990). In November 1987, he was the victor in the competition for organist at the basilica of Saint-Denis. The world-renowned instrument (1840) there was the first one to be built by the great 19th-century organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
In addition, Pierre Pincemaille pursues an international concert career throughout Europe, as well as in the United States and Canada, and engagements have taken him as far afield as Russia, South Africa and China. He has been a soloist under the direction of such prestigious conductors as Mstislav Rostropovitch, Myung-Whun Chung, Riccardo Mutti and Charles Dutoit.
|Alain Raës, pianist, was born in Roubaix (France) in 1947. At the Paris Conservatoire, he won first prizes in piano and chamber music. He then went on to study with Paul Badura-Skoda and György Sebök before winning the Grand Prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1973.
His passion for chamber music has led him to collaborate with various musicians, including Claude Faucomprez to form a piano-clarinet duo.
This great champion of French music has recorded, amongst others, the complete piano music of Arthur Honegger and Albert Roussel, as well as their concertos.
|Anna Stella SCHIC|
|Anna Stella Schic, pianist, was born in Campinas (Brazil) in 1925. She studied the piano there with Jose Kliass (a student of Martin Kraus, one of Franz Liszt's last disciples) before going to Paris to do advanced study with Marguerite Long.
Several composers have dedicated works to her, including Michel Philippot, her husband, and Heitor Villa-Lobos, whose Piano Concerto No.2 she premiered under his direction.
She divides her time between an intense international career that has made her an ambassador and promoter of various composers (for example, she brought Kabalevski's Third Concerto out of the U.S.S.R. for the first time) and a great vocation for teaching (director of the European Conservatory, professor of interpretation at the Universities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, etc...).
|Setrak, pianist of Turkish origin (Istanbul 1931 - Paris 2006) went to Paris in 1946 where he first studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique in the class of the great Alfred Cortot, then with Marguerite Long at the Conservatory.
Winner of a First Prize in piano in the class of Yvonne Lefébure, as well as a First Prize in orchestral conducting in the class of Eugène Bigot, he is a great virtuoso in the Liszt tradition. His repertoire is vast, and as a collector of rare scores as well as a performer, he has, for example, saved from obscurity Liszt's Fantasy on themes from 'Lelio' and recorded, amongst others, Scriabin's complete Etudes for Solstice.
|Before winning the first prize in the Paris international Harpsichord Competition in 1977 (which immediately confirmed her remarkable reputation in the early music world), Noëlle Spieth studied in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur where she obtained three first prizes and in Geneva. After the CNSM in Paris, she completed her studies with H. Dreyfus, K. Gilbert and G. Leonhardt.|
Prize winner of the Fondation de France and soloist at Radio-France, Noëlle Spieth has made solo radio recordings in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
It is in the seventieth and eightieth French repertoire that Noëlle Spieth is well known, thanks especially to an art of ornamentation brought to perfection as technically as musically. Noëlle Spieth appears among the great references for her interpretation of the Rameau complete works - idem for the François Couperin - a realization for which she received the "Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros".
|Early on, Diego Tosi benefited from a musical education initially centred on the
piano, before receiving his first violin lessons at the age of five with the
violonist Philippe Couvert. A year later, at the National Music School in
Aulnay-sous-Bois, he was taught by Jean Lenert, while continuing his piano
studies with Dominique Mercier.
At the age of 13, he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire (CNR) to further his training, continuing to study violin with Jean Lenert. At the end of his academic cycle there, he obtained a First Prize with highest honours, followed by an advanced prize.
Noticed by Jean-Claude Casadesus, he played the solo violin part under his direction in a performance of Rimski-Korsakov's Scheherazade at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées with the Symphony Orchestra of the Paris Conservatoire. In 1998, at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM), he entered the class of Jean-Jacques Kantorow from whom he took tuition for three years. At the end of that cycle of studies, he was awarded his Prize of Paris with highest honours voted unanimously by the jury.
He also attended the master class of Alexandre Benderski before going to the United States for advanced study. Thanks to the Lavoisier Fellowship, which he won hands down, he was given the opportunity of attending the University of Indiana in Bloomington to study with Miriam Fried.
Earlier on, he competed in competitions for young artists under 20 and successively won Second Prize at the Germans Claret International Competition in Barcelona, Third Prize at the Inter-national Young Soloists Competition in Wattrelos, First Prize at the Canet International Competition (these both in France) and, most recently, First Prize at the Moscow International Competition.
Diego Tosi holds today a position of solo violinist within Pierre Boulez's Ensemble Intercontemporain.