Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Lise de la Salle


“De la Salle is eminently musical; she offers depth as well as virtuosity.” – The New York Times

In her early 20s, pianist Lise de la Salle’s playing is so inspiring that The Washington Post wrote, “For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe…the exhilaration didn’t let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard.”

Lise de la Salle’s 2009-10 season included her debut with the Boston Symphony led by Fabio Luisi; her first subscription concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with James Conlon, with whom she also appeared to enthusiastic audiences at the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals; as well as her debut in the fabled Musikverein with the Vienna Symphony. In this and recent seasons, de la Salle’s appearances include recitals in Paris, London (Wigmore Hall), Lucerne Festival Piano Series, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Luxemburg, Salzburg and the Verbier Festival. Other engagements include the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2008, de la Salle garnered her second Recording of the Month from Gramophone magazine for her Naïve recording of first concertos by Liszt, Prokofiev and Shostakovich – a remarkable feat for someone only 20 years old. The 2008-09 season included performances in Berlin, London and Paris, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with the Minnesota Orchestra (where music director Osmo Vänskä invited her for three consecutive visits), and recitals in San Francisco, for the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and at Duke University.

De la Salle’s recording of works by Bach and Liszt, made when she was only 16, was selected as Gramophone Magazine’s Recording of the Month for August 2005 and her Mozart & Prokofiev disc earned high praise in August 2007. Her first recording of works by Ravel and Rachmaninov also received wide critical acclaim. She records exclusively for the Naïve label. De la Salle was also the subject of a multi-page feature in Vanity Fair Germany where they said “An extremely personal beauty emanated from the pieces that she played. Lise de la Salle articulated all the voices with wonderful clarity and variety of expression.”

During the past few seasons, de la Salle’s North American appearances included recitals in New York, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec, St. Paul and Miami, among others. In April 2006, de la Salle made her Lincoln Center debut, performing Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Keith Lockhart. She toured as soloist with orchestras in the Far East, gave recitals throughout France and Germany and made concerto appearances in Lisbon, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and Lyon.

De la Salle won the 2003 European Young Concert Artists Auditions in Paris and the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. The organization presented her New York and Washington, DC debuts in October 2004. In 2000, de la Salle won First Prize and the Bärenreiter Award at the Ettlingen International Competition in Germany. She has won First Prize in many French piano competitions, including the Steinway, Sucy, Vulaines and Radio-France Competitions. In 2003, she won the Groupe Banque Populaire Natexis Prize, for which she received a three-year scholarship.

De la Salle made her first tour of Japan in the spring of 2004 with the Auvergne Orchestra. She has participated in several European festivals, including performances as soloist with the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra and the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Orchestra at the St. Riquier Festival. She also appeared at the Festival du Haut Limousin and the Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France.

Born in Cherbourg, France in 1988, de la Salle was surrounded by music from her earliest childhood. She began studying the piano at the age of four and gave her first concert at nine in a live broadcast on Radio-France. At 13, she made her concerto debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Avignon, and her Paris recital debut at the Louvre before going on tour with the Orchestre National d’Île de France playing Haydn’s Concerto in D Major.

After receiving special permission to enter the Paris Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique, studying with Pierre Réach, at the age of eleven, de la Salle graduated in 2001 and subsequently enrolled in the postgraduate cycle with Bruno Rigutto. She has worked closely with Pascal Nemirovski since 1997 and also studied with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux.

Lise de la Salle

photo Stéphane Gallois

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