OPHELIE GAILLARD – Cellist
Her “technical fluency is unimpeachable. Her intonation … is impeccable. She plays with a ripe, absolutely luscious tone. Her use of vibrato is circumspect and period- appropriate. She is scrupulous about observing repeats and her use of ornamentation is elegant and understated. The fluidity and unself-conscious physicality of Gaillard’s playing keeps the listener aware that, except for the preludes, this is sunny, dance-based music.” So wrote the critic Stephen Eddins (Allmusic) of her recent Bach recording (2011), while back in 2007 The Times hailed her “wizard fingering, big lyrical heart and kaleidoscope of colours”. An insatiable curiosity, a taste for risk, an immoderate appetite for the whole of the concerted cello repertoire, complete disregard of limits and petty quarrels: those are no doubt the features that have always set this brilliant Franco-Swiss musician apart. Her passion? Working from the sources, inquiring into the text, using her virtuosity to bring out the musical discourse and make the music loved by all.
Named “Revelation: Solo Instrumentalist of the Year” at the French Classical Music Awards (Victoires) in 2003, she has since appeared in recital at many prestigious venues: Concertgebouw Bruges and Amsterdam; Bozar and Flagey, Brussels; the theatres of Bordeaux, Avignon, Poissy, Aix-en-Provence; the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Oji Hall, Tokyo; London’s Wigmore Hall; and so on. She also performs works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and has recorded, for instance, Britten’s complete Cello Suites and Piano Sonatas with Vanessa Wagner (Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique) and Pierre Bartholomée’s Oraison for solo cello. Her solo album Dreams (Aparté) recorded in 2009 at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, proved to be a great public success.
Versatile artist, Ophelie Gaillard also regularly performs as a soloist with orchestras such as the Japan Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the Polish Radio Orchestra and the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, etc….
Ophélie Gaillard has won several prizes in major international competitions, including, most notably, The third prize of the J. S. Bach International Cello Competition in Leipzig in 1998. In 2010 she was invited to sit on the jury for the ARD International Cello Competition in Munich. She appears regularly on radio (France Musique, France Culture, France Inter, Radio Classique, BBC Radio 3, Espace 2) and television (France 2, Mezzo, Arte).
2015 her double ALVORADA CD was awarded Star Recording by the Strad Magazine. This programme, a journey into popular Spanish and Latin American musics was on tour in France, Italy (MiTo Festival), Mexico (Cervantino Festival), with Brazilian singer Toquinho among others and 2016 her second CPEBACH recording was hailed by the critic and received a DIAPASON D’OR, CHOC DE LA MUSIQUE CLASSICA, FFFF TELERAMA.
Among other recordings highly acclaimed as well, Exils with Bloch’s Schelomo coupled with the Korngold’s cello concerto with the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra under British conductor James Judd, Strauss’ Don Quixote with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Boccherini with Pulcinella Orchestra. After an extensiv tour in Latin America and Italy, a new album of bossa nova recorded live with brazilian singer Toquinho was released on Fall 2019 and a double CD dedicated to Vivaldi with Pulcinella Orchestra on March 2020, both for the Label APARTE.
2014 she was appointed Professor at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Geneva and her recording of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s cello concerti with Pulcinella was awarded DIAPASON D’OR of the year. Ophélie Gaillard plays a cello by Francesco Goffriller (1737), generously on loan from the CIC, and also an anonymous Flemish violoncello piccolo.