Hélène Grimaud started studying piano at nine, and entered the Paris Conservatory four years later. An impatient and often rebellious student, she insisted on learning repertory at a faster pace than the conservatory would allow, and on her own, arranged to play the Chopin Concerto in F minor with the orchestra at Aix conservatory where she began her studies. A recording of the concert reached a producer at Denon, which resulted in a widely successful disc that launched Grimaud into fame at the age of sixteen. She now maintains a busy schedule of international performances with the most prestigious orchestras, and also tours as a recitalist.
Grimaud is a pianist who defies feminine stereotypes, favoring the muscular repertory of Brahms, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Schumann, and Liszt. Her lush sound and sweeping interpretations have drawn comparisons to such pianists as Martha Argerich and Jorge Bolet. Grimaud shares Glenn Gould’s fascination with clear counterpoint, and she admires the intensity of her friends Argerich and Gidon Kremer. She takes risks in performance, but only those that she feels illuminate the music rather than spotlight herself as soloist.
Grimaud has been a Steinway Artist since 2000.