Recipient of top awards at Viotti, Busoni and Leeds competitions, Pascal Devoyon became known throughout the world when he received the Silver medal at the 1978 Tchaikovsky competition, the highest prize ever won by a French pianist at this prestigious competition.
Devoyon has performed with major orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony and Japan's NHK Symphony, and has given highly acclaimed recitals at the Carnegie Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. His repertoire is extensive and includes the complete Beethoven sonata cycle, major twentieth century composers such as Bartok and Messiaen and numerous works by contemporary composers.
Since 1999, he has been artistic director of one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, MusicAlp in Tignes, together with the violinist Dong-Suk Kang.
In 1996 Pascal Devoyon was appointed Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. He is teaching as well in the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Toho Gakuen School in Tokyo.
[Q1. Which artists had the most influence on you?]
The one who comes to mind first is Éric Heidsieck, but I have had many wonderful teachers. Probably one of the most memorable performances I have ever heard was by Sviatoslav Richter when I was just 12 or 13. It made a lasting impression on me. I also love to read books, and you might be surprised how much reading has influenced my approach to music.
[Q2. How do you feel about Yamaha pianos?]
I have been performing on Yamaha for many years, but have been continually surprised we the way these instruments keep developing. The world of music is changing and Yamaha matches these changes with their improvements. They make an already great piano even better. I have a very high respect for the attitude of all of those involved in Yamaha’s piano production. Back in 2008 I used a Yamaha to record a CD commemorating the 100 year anniversary of Messiaen's birth and was completely satisfied with it. But last November I played a dual recital where we used two Yamaha CFX models, and I couldn’t believe how improved they were. They were a dream to perform on.
[Q3. What does music, or the piano, mean to you?]
Ever since I was a child I have felt close ties to the piano. In fact if I had any problems or ran into trouble, it is the piano I went to for solace. As I played I could gradually forget my troubles, or at least they didn’t bother me as much. The piano was a exit from my troubles to wonderful world of music.
[Q4. Which are your favorite performance venues?]
I’d have to say, Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Great Hall of Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.
[Q5. Do you have a message for people learning the piano?]
Whatever the form or genre, I believe people involved in music have a better life. A musical instrument can do nothing without the inspiration of someone playing it. It takes a human to bring a piano to life. You create the music. If you play with sensitivity you will produce phrases which mirror this but in musical terms. Thus the piano can become more than a simple tool, it can sing with its own heart and soul.
Other Piano Artists
Recipient of top awards at numerous international competitions, Devoyon is on the faculty of the Berlin University of the Arts, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Toho School in Tokyo.
Khozyainov became known around the world by his outstanding performance as the youngest finalist in the 2010 Chopin Competition in Poland. Since then he has won top prizes at the Dublin and Sydney International Piano Competitions, and has toured around the world.
Pianist and composer Cesare Picco has become an official ‘Yamaha Artist’, becoming part of an exclusive group of musicians. Cesare Picco started studying piano when he was four years old and from 1986 he started to perform his own music. He is author to ballets, operas, music for theatre and special projects performed worldwide Cesare has performed at Italy’s most important festivals and worldwide including Delhi Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival, Abu Dhabi Festival, Singapore Old Parliament, Hanoi Opera House, Al Maidan Centre Kuwait City, Kolkata Tagore Centre, Shillong Auditorium, Guggenheim Venice, Tokyo Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Whitney Museum, and Tokyo Blue Note. He has worked with distinguished artists including Naseer Shamma, Giovanni Hidalgo, Edmar Castaneda, Nino Josele, Vasilis Saleas, Miles Jaye, Giovanni Sollima, Hajime Mizoguchi, Markus Stockhausen, Yukimi Nagano, Taketo Gohara, and many Italian artists. As a composer he has written music for solos, chamber music ensembles and orchestras such as Virtuosi Italiani, Berlin Chamber Soloists, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.