The French cellist François Salque has married sterling technique in the grand French tradition to innovative musical thinking, and in so doing emerged as one of most exciting young players of his instrument in the 2010s.
Salque began his study of the cello at age eight and moved on to the prestigious Paris Conservatory. He earned a master's degree at Yale University, and in both Europe and the U.S. he has been a reliable prizewinner in international competitions. At several European events he took home the highest honors ever given to a French cellist.
Salque performed with the Ysaÿe Quartet from 2009 to 2014, the last five years of its existence, appearing on seven of the quartet's albums. By the time the group disbanded, Salque had already, in 2011, launched his own solo career with EST (East), an album recorded with accordionist Vincent Peirani. Appearing on the Zig Zag Territoires label, the album was a bold choice for a debut, featuring semi-popular, Eastern European dances coupled to Bartók's Danses populaires roumaines. Salque re-teamed with Peirani for Tanguillo, an album of tango music, in 2013. He also began to record traditional repertoire by Fauré with pianist Eric le Sage, and in 2017 the pair released a well-reviewed cycle of Beethoven's cello sonatas on the major Sony Classical label.
A visitor to the town of Lacanau on the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern France from the age of one, Salque chose that location to found a new annual event, the Festival Musical'Océan. The festival offered Salque a new avenue for his eclectic musical impulses, often mixing classical and jazz artists on its programs. Salque has performed in more than 50 countries as a soloist and chamber musician, and has appeared with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Munich Radio Symphony, and several top Russian and Baltic groups as well as with a variety of top French symphonic ensembles.