Pierre Amoyal

Biography

Child prodigy, student of Jascha Heifetz, and winner of several major prizes, Pierre Amoyal has fully lived up to the promise his early exploits foreshadowed. Before he was 30 he was recognized as one of the foremost French violinists, not only in recital and solo repertory, but in chamber fare as well. In the latter realm Amoyal has collaborated with Heifetz, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, and pianist Alexis Weissenberg. He has appeared with such conductors as Solti, Maazel, Ozawa, Boulez, Karajan, Rattle, and with the major orchestras of Berlin, Paris, London, Boston, Cleveland, and countless other world-class ensembles. His enormous repertory is eclectic, taking in works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, Fauré, Bartók, Janácek, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Berg, and contemporary composers like Dutilleux. Amoyal's recordings are available from numerous labels, including Harmonia Mundi and Decca.

Pierre Amoyal was born in Paris, France, on June 22, 1949. At age ten he enrolled at the Paris Conservatory and graduated two years later with a first prize in violin performance. He received further awards of distinction: the Ginette Neveu Prize (1963), the Paganini Prize (1964), and the Enescu Prize (1970).

From 1966-1971 he studied in Los Angeles with Heifetz. During this period he occasionally performed with Heifetz and other notables, as on the acclaimed 1968 recording of Spohr's Double Quartet for Strings, No. 1, which also featured Piatigorsky. In 1971 Amoyal gave his European debut in Paris with the Orchestre de Paris under Solti in a performance of Berg's Violin Concerto. Soon there followed debuts in other major European cities as well as in South Africa, Japan, and the Americas.

Amoyal taught violin at the Paris Conservatory from 1977-1987. Shortly after departing this post he joined the faculty at the Lausanne Conservatory, where he still teaches. But Amoyal remained busy concertizing as well: among his more notable recitals during this period was his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut.

In 1991 Amoyal co-founded, with Alexis Weissenberg, the Lausanne Summer Music Academy, for study of violin/piano repertory. Amoyal has served as artistic director of the project and still holds regular master classes there. He also founded the Camerata de Lausanne in 2002. He has remained active in the new century on the concert stage. In 2007 Amoyal became artistic director of the Norway-based Kristiansand Chamber Orchestra, and often appears as soloist with the ensemble. Amoyal's 2011 concert schedule included tours of France, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, and Turkey.

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