Curiosity, diversity and a firm focus on the music itself characterize the artistic work of Jean-Guihen Queyras. Whether on stage or on record, one experiences an artist dedicated completely and passionately to the music, whose humble and quite unpretentious treatment of the score reflects its clear, undistorted essence. The inner motivations of composer, performer and audience must all be in tune with one another in order to bring about an outstanding concert experience: Jean-Guihen Queyras learnt this interpretative approach from Pierre Boulez, with whom he established a long artistic partnership. This philosophy, alongside a flawless technique and a clear, engaging tone, also shapes Jean-Guihen Queyras’ approach to every performance and his absolute commitment to the music itself.
His approaches to early music – as in his collaborations with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the Concerto Köln – and to contemporary music are equally thorough. He has given world premieres of works by, among others, Ivan Fedele, Gilbert Amy, Bruno Mantovani, Michael Jarrell, Johannes-Maria Staud and Thomas Larcher. Conducted by the composer, he recorded Peter Eötvös’ Cello Concerto to mark his 70th birthday in November 2014.
Jean-Guihen Queyras is a founding member of the Arcanto Quartet and forms a celebrated trio with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov; the latter is, alongside Alexandre Tharaud, a regular accompanist. He has also collaborated with zarb specialists Bijan and Keyvan Chemirani on a Mediterranean programme.
The versatility in his music-making has led to many concert halls, festivals and orchestras inviting JeanGuihen to be Artist in Residence, including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Festival d’Aix-enProvence, Vredenburg Utrecht, De Bijloke Ghent and Wigmore Hall London.
Jean-Guihen Queyras often appears with renowned orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, working with conductors such as Iván Fischer, Philippe Herreweghe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jiři Bělohlávek, Oliver Knussen and Sir Roger Norrington.
Jean-Guihen Queyras’ discography is impressive. His recordings of cello concertos by Edward Elgar, Antonín Dvořák, Philippe Schoeller and Gilbert Amy have been released to critical acclaim. As part of a harmonia mundi project dedicated to Schumann, he has recorded the complete piano trios with Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov and at the same time the Schumann cello concerto with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado. The CD of Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Piano trio no. 1 was released at the beginning of 2016. “THRACE – Sunday Morning Sessions”, his latest CD, was released in August 2016. In collaboration with the Chemirani brothers and Sokratis Sinopoulos (lyra), it explores the intersections of contemporary music, improvisation and Mediterranean traditions.
Highlights in the 2016/17 season include a Japan tour with the Czech Philharmonic under Jiři Bělohlávek and engagements with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Gewandhausorchester under Herbert Blomstedt and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner.
Jean-Guihen Queyras holds a professorship at the University of Music Freiburg and is Artistic Director of the “Rencontres Musicales de Haute-Provence” festival in Forcalquier. He plays a 1696 instrument by Gioffredo Cappa, made available to him by the Mécénat Musical Société Générale.