Eric Le Sage is established as one of the leading pianists of his generation and a famous representative of the French piano school, regularly boasted for his very subtle sound, his real sense of structure and poetic phrasing. Already when he was 20 years old, the Financial Times had described him as “an extremely cultivated disciple of the great French tradition of Schumann piano”. In 2010, die Zeit, praised his “ideal French piano aesthetics and clarity”
In 2010 Eric Le Sage very successfully came to the end of a project that he had cherished and prepared for a long time: recording Robert Schumann’s complete works for piano. He has been invited to perform in this context in major venues around the world. These recordings for the French label Alpha (Outhere) were awarded in the summer 2010 the very prestigious Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Reviewers from the world over have written elated comments about what is already cited as a reference in the history of Schumann recordings. Following this successful project, Eric Le Sage recorded a new series of 5 CDs dedicated to Gabriel Fauré’s complete works for chamber music with piano, all covered with awards.
Eric Le Sage has performed recitals and chamber music concerts in such major venues as Wigmore Hall, Suntory Hall, Carnegie Hall, Schwartzenberg’s Schubertiade, Ludwigsburg Festival, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Dublin’s celebrity series, Louisiana Museum of Arts, Cologne’s Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw la Roque d’Anthéron, Festival International de Menton, Potsdam Sanssouci, Théâtre du Châtelet, Salle Pleyel, and various venues in Germany, Italy, Spain, the United-Kingdom, South America, the United-States, Japan.
Eric is invited to perform as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Saint-Louis Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Gothenburg Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic,, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, with conductors like Edo de Waart, Stéphane Denève, Louis Langrée, Michel Plasson, Michael Stern, Sir Simon Rattle…
Most of Eric Le Sage’s recordings for RCA-BMG, Naïve, EMI and now Alpha were highly acclaimed and awarded the most sought after rewards in France: Diapason d’Or de l’Année, Choc de l’Année Classica, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Grand Prix du Disque, Recording of the Month in Fono Forum and Gramophone, Victoire de la Musique.
Born in Aix en Provence, Eric Le Sage was the winner of major international competitions such as Porto in 1985 and the Robert Schumann competition in Zwickau, in 1989. He was also a prize-winner at Leeds International competition the same year, which allowed him to perform under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.
Praised as “a marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times, French flutist Mathieu Dufour is one of the most impressive musicians of his generation. His golden sound and flawless technique have left audiences and fellow musicians in awe.
At the age of 25, he was appointed principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim, making him one of the youngest players ever to hold such a position. Since then, he has performed numerous times as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, in concertos by Devienne, Mozart, Ibert, Bach, Jolivet, and Nielsen. In May 2014, Mathieu Dufour won the audition for the post of principal flute with the Berliner Philharmoniker, succeeding Andreas Blau in this position.
As soloist, Mr. Dufour has performed with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Fabio Luisi, and Nicholas McGegan. Of Dufour’s performance of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, the Chicago Tribune reported, “Throughout the concerto he confirmed his uncanny mastery of color and dynamics, filling the hall with a vibrant, crystalline sound.” When he performed as soloist at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, one critic wrote, “the ornate solo lines unfurled like yard upon yard of fine embroidered silk.”
Mr. Dufour performs concertos and recitals every year in Japan. He has performed recitals in major halls in Tokyo and concertos with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Hiroshima Symphony.
As chamber musician, he has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida, Pinchas Zukerman, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Julia Fischer, Eric LeSage, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is also a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He has performed chamber music concerts in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York, at the Lucerne and Davos Festivals in Switzerland, and at the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada. In demand around the world as a recitalist, he has dazzled audiences in Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and South America. His recitals have been televised on French and Japanese television.
Born in Paris, Mr. Dufour began his flute studies with Madeleine Chassang. He then studied with Maxence Larrieu at the Lyon Conservatory, where he was unanimously awarded first prize. While a teenager, he won second prize at the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition in 1990 and third prize at the International Flute Competition in Budapest in 1991. In 1997, he won second prize at the International Flute Competition in Kobe, Japan. At age 20, he was appointed principal flutist of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and three years later became principal flutist of the Paris National Opera
Mr. Dufour is also highly in demand as a teacher, although his concertizing permits time for very few students each year. He is passionate about teaching the younger generation of musicians, however, and frequently gives master classes wherever he performs. He has taught many times at the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada and is currently on faculty at DePaul University in Chicago.
Mr. Dufour’s discography includes a solo recital of sonatas by Prokofiev, Martin, and Hindemith on Harmonia Mundi; Poulenc’s complete chamber music on RCA/BMG; and Roussel’s complete works for flute on Saphir Records. This is Mathieu Dufour’s second recording as soloist for Cedille Records.
Mozart : Violin Sonata in B-flat KV 378 (arrangement pour flûte et piano)
Schubert : Theme and Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’ from Die schöne Müllerin D. 802, Op. 160
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Reinecke : Sonata “Undine”, op.167
Poulenc : Sonata for Flute and Piano