Jean-Pierre Armengaud is considered a leading interpreter of French music and a specialist in impressionist and expressionist repertoire, and is renowned for his ‘fluidly supple playing, his round and mellow tone’ (Classica). He has recorded several complete collections, of piano music by Debussy, Satie, Roussel, Poulenc, Dutilleux and Denisov, and has earned critical acclaim for his recordings of works by Beethoven, Scriabin, Schumann, Chopin, Ravel, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. As a concert artist his programmes are notable for the extent and variety of their repertoire, and he has performed music by Yves Nat, Jacques Février and the Russian pianist Stanislav Neuhaus, with whom he studied in Soviet Russia on one of the first scholarships made available.
Armengaud has appeared in major concert halls around the world, performing in over 40 countries, and given masterclasses at leading conservatoires. His vast discography includes releases on the Mandala-harmonia mundi, Arts Music and Le Chant du Monde labels among others, alongside the award-winning Debussy Centenary Discoveries and Beethoven’s complete Lieder and songs for Warner Classics. His albums for Naxos and Grand Piano feature music by Debussy, Roussel, Poulenc, Aubert, d’Indy and others, and he has a particular interest in Henri Dutilleux, whose Préludes he has introduced to more than ten countries. This current album, devoted to César Franck, furthers Armengaud’s mission of revisiting rare, unpublished or forgotten French works. As a musicologist and writer he has published a biography of Erik Satie (Fayard, 2009, which won the 2009 Prix des Muses) and a book of essays on Debussy, Claude Debussy: La trace et l’écart (L’Harmattan, 2018). He has been director for musical programming at Radio France and provided creative musical direction for the Présences contemporary music festival, and is associate professor at the Paris-Sorbonne University and professor emeritus at the University of Évry Val d’Essonne at Paris-Saclay University.