“Florent Boffard knows contemporary music by heart. His playing is characterised by exceptional purity with exquisite, often vivid contrasts which imbue his playing with nearly post-romantic expression.” ResMusica.com
After completing music studies at the Conservatoire National de Région de Lyon (CNSMD), Florent Boffard continued his education, entering the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris at the age of 12. There, he finished in first place in piano, chamber music, harmony, counterpoint and accompaniment, studying under the guidance of Yvonne Loriod, then Geneviève Joy. Thereafter, Boffard continued post-graduate studies in the class of Germaine Mounier, receiving First Prize at the Claude Kahn competition in Paris. One year later he won the famous Vianna da Motta competition in Lisbon, which opened the door to his study with Leon Fleisher. A member of Ensemble Intercontemporain from 1988 to 1999, he had an opportunity to be involved with the greatest composers of our times. His repertoire encompasses many works by Boulez, Donatoni, Ligeti and Johannes Maria Staud. The latter’s Im Lichte, a concerto for two pianos and orchestra, was recently performed by the pianist together with the Strasburg Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed in Germany, Austria, Portugal, Italy and the United States. Invited to play at major international festivals in Salzburg, Berlin, Brussels, La Roque d’Anthéron and Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, he has played together with such renowned conductors as Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle and David Robertson.
His discography entails mainly 20th century composers, including Debussy (Etudes for Piano), Bartók (Second Sonata for Violin and Piano, recorded withIsabelle Faust), Boulez (Structures for two pianos, recorded with Pierre-Laurent Aimard) and Berio (Sequenza IV). In 2001 Boffard’s involvement with 20th century music brought him the Prix Belmont of the Forberg-Schneider Foundation. For many years, Florent Boffard was a lecturer at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart. He has held the post of professor at CNSMD in Lyon since 2009.
Thanks to its avant-garde character combined with a modern sound, Pierrot Lunaire has provided worldwide fame for Schönberg. In the 20th century it has also inspired such works as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Boulez’ Le marteau sans maître (The Hammer Without a Master). The work achieved instant success. It has since been considered a masterpiece and Roland Manuel has thus expressed his admiration: “The incomparable colour of the music in Pierrot Lunaire, an expressive image of a nightmare unfolds before us, a rending cruelty which switches instantly from irony to sobs, from terror to tenderness, a source of exquisite beauty […].”