Helene Grimaud

Voice/Instrument: Pianoforte


Hélène Grimaud (born November 7, 1969) is a French pianist.

Grimaud was born in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is descended from Italian-Sephardi Jews from Corsica on her mother's side and from Algerian Jews on her father's side, though her autobiography Variations Sauvages suggests a Christian upbringing. She has stated that as a child she was often "agitated". She discovered the piano at seven. She entered the Conservatoire de Paris in 1982 where she studied with Jacques Rouvier. In 1985 she won first prize at the Conservatory and the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros for her recording of the Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 2. In 1987, she launched her professional career with a solo recital in Paris and a performance with the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Barenboim.

At 21, Grimaud moved to Florida, United States, and later lived outside New York City. After some time spent in Berlin, she currently resides in Switzerland. She is known for her passion for wolves, which she studies and raises. She now divides her time between her musical career and the Wolf Conservation Center, which she co-founded with her then-companion, the photographer J. Henry Fair. She also experiences synesthesia, where one physical sense adds input to another, for example tasting words, or in her case, seeing music as color.

She performed at the Last Night of the BBC Proms in London in September 2008, playing the piano part of Beethoven's Choral Fantasia. 

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