Raphael Chrétien


Raphael CHRETIEN was born in a musician family and started playing the piano and the cello at an early age, first with his father and then with Alain Meunier. He was then selected to take part in Mstislav Rostropovitch’s Parisian masterclass on Prokofiev (1986). The following year, he integrated the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSMDP) in the class of Philippe Muller and Christian Ivaldi, of which he won the first prizes for Cello and Chamber Music a few years later.

During his advanced training cycles at the Paris Conservatory and at the Bale Music Academy (Konzert Diploma), he notably met Miklos Perenyi, Janos Starker, Paul Tortelier, and Pierre Boulez who wrote at the time : « I heard Raphael Chretien play and was quite impressed by his interpretation of Beethoven’s triple concerto at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées…”.

Having won several international competitions, including the Martinu Special Award at the Prague international music competition or the grand award and the Audience Award at the Belgrad international music competition, he enriched his experience as the co-principal musician of the London Symphony Orchestra. Then, he started an intense career as a concertist and now performs in the whole world.

As an appreciated partner in chamber music, RC gets regularly invited by many French music festivals (Classique au vert-Paris, Flâneries de Reims, les Arcs, Folles journées de Nantes, Nancyphonies, Pâques de Deauville…) as well as international ones (Keihanna concert series-Jap, Moscow conservatory in America, Musicadhoy-Esp, Nordic music days, Danemark, Settimane musicale di Siena-It…). He also is one of the rare European musicians invited to the famous Marlboro music festival-Usa, along with artists like Midori, the Julliard quatuor, Andras Schiff et Mitsuko Ushida.

As a soloist, he performed with the National orchestra of Ile de France, les Siècles, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Camerata in Salzbourg, the Guildhall symphony orchestra, the Dresden universitat orchester, the Caen orchestra, the Cannes-PACA orchestra, the Radio-symphonic in Bâle, the Cuidad in Granada,… under the supervision of Jiri Belohavek, Philippe Bender, Mark Foster, Philippe Herreweghe, Jean Jacques Kantorow, Gerard Korsten, Adrian Leaper, Jacques Mercier, François-Xavier Roth, Kaspar Zehnder or Ronald Zollman.

He is a particularly eclectic musician and his vast repertoire goes from Bach’s suites on baroque instruments to the most contemporaneous works : he has been the interpreter or the dedicatee of works by Nicolas Bacri, Franck Bedrossian, Paul Méfano, Piotr Moss, Philippe Schoeller, Alessandro Solbiati, Christian Lauba, Iannis Xenakis, Philippe Hersant… and therefore has been playing an active role in musical creation through concerts and recordings.

His discography started with the « first recording worldwide » of A. Piatti Caprices for solo cello, and has gradually developed with many works like those of Brahms, Ginastera, Martinu Duparc, Guy Ropartz, Saint-Saens, Lalo or Offenbach, and those records have been regularly praised by the press (ffff by Télérama, Recommandé by Classica, 10 de Répertoire, Sélection de l’Année by le Monde, the Strad…).

His recording of the complete JS BACH solo cello Suites (ByClassique) also received unanimous awards, CLASSICA rewarding with a famous “CHOC” the “Master of technically immaculate playing, in a lively and supple gesture with admirable plasticity, impressing a continuous pulsation to a musical discourse as dense as it is elegant, as concentrated as it is eloquent” (G.Belvire), “Raphael Chretien’s interpretation being comparable to the best” (Pizzicato).

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