Pianist Hélène Grimaud defies feminine stereotypes. She favors Brahms, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Schumann, and Liszt, not the less muscular music of Mozart (which she didn't perform until she was 21 or record until 2010) or Poulenc. She is willing to take risks in performance, but only those that illuminate the music rather than spotlight the soloist.
Young Grimaud studied piano at the Aix Conservatoire as a channel for her surplus energy. Entering the Paris Conservatory at 13, she insisted on learning repertory at a faster pace than allowed. Denon recorded her in Rachmaninov, which garnered a Grand Prix du Disque; Grimaud was only 16. At age 18 she performed with Daniel Barenboim and the Orchestre de Paris. She continues a busy schedule of performances with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras. As a recitalist her repertoire includes the works of Arvo Pärt, John Corigliano, Chopin, and Schumann. ~ James Reel