French pianist and conductor Philippe Entremont is one of the most frequently recorded artists of all time—there are hundreds of albums featuring him as pianist and conductor. He has conducted the world’s greatest symphony orchestras and toured the world.
Philippe Entremont’s spectacular career began at the age of 18, after his attention-grabbing performance of André Jolivet’s Piano Concerto and Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 1. He has been in the spotlight ever since. Additionally, he has led an impressive career as a conductor for the last 40-plus years. His success is stunning, but certainly not surprising, as his mother was a spectacularGrand Prix-winning pianist and his father an operatic conductor. He received his first piano lessons at the age of six from his mother. It was his father who introduced him to chamber and orchestral music.
Following lessons with his mother, Philippe Entremont entered the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied with Marguerite Long. While there, he earned prizes in sight-reading, chamber music and piano, at the respective ages of 12, 14 and 15. At the age of 16, he was the Laureate at the international Long-Thibaud Competition. The next year, Entremont was awarded a prize in the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in Brussels.
As a conductor, Entremont has performed with orchestras and soloists in Europe, Asia and America. He made his conducting debut in 1968 on a recording of Mozart’s Piano Concertos nos. 13 and 17, which he directed from behind the piano. He was appointed Principal Conductor and Musical Director Laureate of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in 1976. With this orchestra, he has embarked on many international tours. Entremont served as Director of the New Orleans Symphony from 1980 to 1986 and as Conductor, then Music Director, of the Denver Symphony (now known as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra) from 1986 to 1989. In 1988 Entremont was appointed conductor of the Orchestre des Concerts Colonne in Paris, where he remained until 1990. In 1993 he became the Principal Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of the Netherlands. He also founded the Santo Domingo Music Festival, which takes place biannually and draws important artists to the Dominican Republic. Entremont played an important role in the formation of the Chamber Orchestra of the École Normale Supérieure de Musique-Alfred Cortot, which he still leads today. He also holds the position of Conductor Laureate with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in China since 2002.
During the 2013-14 season, Entremont appeared as a guest conductor with many European and American orchestras. He also gave many performances as a soloist and chamber musician, in addition to having toured with the Vienna Concert-Verein in the United States. Between 2010 and 2013, he embarked on a world tour and many orchestral tours, including with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Festival Orchestra and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie. He was named the Lifetime Laureate Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra in the 2010-11 season. Another highlight from his career includes his performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, along with nine other pianists, in the “Piano Extravaganza of the Century”. He was also featured with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007, in one of the orchestra’s first post-Katrina concert seasons.
In addition to his busy performance career, Entremont manages to maintain an active teaching career. Administrative roles include President of the Maurice Ravel Académie and Director of the American Conservatory of Fontainbleau, which was previously in the hands of Nadia Boulanger. Furthermore, he has served on the juries of many of the world’s most elite piano competitions, including ARD Munich, Santander, Chopin in Warsaw, Van Cliburn and Leeds.
Entremont’s numerous recordings have been released on a variety of labels. As pianist, he has recorded the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Gershwin, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov, Chopin and Jolivet among others. Of particular interest are the remastered releases of his performance under the baton of Eugene Ormandy with The Philadelphia Orchestra on the Sony Music UK label, including Rachmaninov’s Concertos no. 1 and 4, the Saint-Saëns Concerto no 2 in G minor, Ravel’s Concerto in G major, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Additionally, Sony Classical has released a number of recordings that Entremont made with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, including concertos by Dvorák and Tchaikovsky and pieces by Bernstein himself. He has also performed under Pierre Boulez and Seiji Ozawa.
In 2014, Philippe Entremount published his first autobiographical book Piano ma non troppo with Editions de Fallois in Paris. His awards include Commandeur of the Légion d'honneur, Commandeur of the Ordre national du Mérite, Commandeur of the Arts et Lettres in France and Austria’s Great Cross of Honour in the Order of Merit and the Cross of Honour in Science and Art.