First concert in New York at age 5, studies with R. Casadesus in France then, again in New York at the Juilliard School of Music where he obtains top awards in all subjects: valedictorian at the age of 18. Franco-American, François-Joël Thiollier through his playing and his repertoire achieves the cultural and musical synthesis of the Old and the New world.
A few statistics:
- 8 international “Grands Prix” (including Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikowsky prizes )
- A hundred concertos for piano and orchestra of which 85 performed as of now
- 2000 concerts in 40 countries
- The most prestigious orchestras : Moscow and Leningrad Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Torino RAI, London Symphony, Amsterdam Concertgebouw etc.
- The most prestigious halls: Salle Pleyel and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Teatro Real and Auditorium in Madrid, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Scala in Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Berlin and Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo etc.
On stage, his charisma ensures him success. Jankelévitch lauds him in this way: “François-Joël Thiollier had all the prerequisites, even the most contradictory ones: transcendental virtuosity, airy lightness coupled with power, dynamic drive along with a delicate touch, interpretative suppleness which adapts itself to a stunning variety of contrasting styles and finally stamina and courage – and above all that which is the most infinitely rare qualification, a high-level musical culture, therefore the deepest comprehension of the works he performs.”