The conductor Raphaël Pichon trained at the two Paris Conservatoires (CRR, CNSM) before gaining the opportunity of singing under the direction of Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and also Geoffroy Jourdain, with whom he worked on contemporary creations. In 2006 he founded Ensemble Pygmalion, which combines a choir and an orchestra playing on period instruments. His artistic options with this ensemble are notable for their coherence and singularity.
Among the most significant projects of recent years have been his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with the creation of Trauernacht on music by Bach and directed by Katie Mitchell (2014), the rediscovery of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo at the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles (2016), the spatialisation of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine in several international venues in 2017 (Holland Festival, BBC Proms, Chapelle Royale de Versailles, Leipzig Bach Festival), Miranda at the Opéra-Comique after stage works by Purcell (2017), the revival of Simon McBurney’s production of Die Zauberflöte at Aix-en-Provence (2018) and the Berlioz version of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Opéra-Comique (2018). While regularly returning to the masterpieces of Bach (motets, Passions and Mass in B minor) and the music of Mozart, Raphael Pichon’s repertoire is now following a process of filiation and opening up to German Romanticism (notably Mendelssohn’s Elias and Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem) and works of the early twentieth century (among them Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Symphony of Psalms).
Raphaël Pichon is regularly invited to conduct other ensembles, including the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Mozarteum-Orchester in Salzburg, La Scintilla at the Opernhaus Zürich, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Holland Baroque Society, and Les Violons du Roy in Quebec. Alongside his Ensemble Pygmalion, he is in residence at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, and an associate artist at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique.
His numerous recordings appear on Alpha, Erato and harmonia mundi, which has been his exclusive label since 2014. His most recent releases are the wide-ranging survey Stravaganza d’amore (2017), focusing on the beginnings of Italian opera, and the imaginary opera Enfers, based on works by Rameau and Gluck, with the baritone Stéphane Degout (2018). All his recordings have received multiple distinctions in France and abroad, including the Gramophone Award, Grammy Award nomination, CD des Monats in Opernwelt, Diapason d’Or of the year, Choc de Classica, Victoire de la Musique, ffff de Télérama, Edison Klassiek Award, Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles-Cros and Best Classical Recording on Forbes).
Saint Matthew Passion, BWV.244
Famous opera scenes by Rameau and Gluck
"Les Funérailles Royales de (The Royal Funeral of) Louis XIV" - DVD
"Mein Traum" (My Dream). Schubert, Weber, Schumann
"Libertà !". An imaginary dramma giocoso in three scenes
"Rheinmädchen" (The Rhine Daughters) : works for choir and harp in Romantic Germany
Updated September 2019