The Kennedy Center

Lise de la Salle


In just a few years, through her international concert appearances and her award-winning Naïve recordings, 27 year-old Lise de la Salle has established a reputation as one of today's most exciting young artists, and as a musician of uncommon sensibility and maturity.  Her playing inspired a Washington Post critic to write, "For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe...the exhilaration didn't let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard."

A native of France, Ms. de la Salle first came to international attention in 2005, at the age of 16, with a Bach/Liszt recording that was selected as "Recording of the Month" by Gramophone Magazine.  Ms. de la Salle, who records for the Naïve label,  was then similarly recognized in 2008 for her recording of Liszt's, Prokofiev's and Shostakovich's first concertos - a remarkable feat for someone only 20 years old.  Her most recent Naive recording offers works of Schumann, including Kinderszenen and the C Major Fantasy, which was released in 2014.  In the Fall of 2015, Naxos released Lise de la Salle's recordings of the Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with Fabio Luisi and the Philharmonia Zurich. 

Lise de la Salle has played with many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors. She made her London Symphony Orchestra debut with Fabio Luisi and in 2016 returned to the Orchestra with Antonio Pappano. Luisi, who had invited her to become the first Artist-in-Residence of the Zurich Opera in 2014has also frequently featured Ms. De la Salle with the Vienna Symphony, including a performance in New York on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center.  In the U.S., Ms. de la Salle has played with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, San Francisco Symphony and three times with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. In her second appearance with the Minnesota Orchestra, she played the Gershwin Concerto in F, a performance that inspired one critic to exclaim that "she might just be the most exciting young artist in classical music right now."

Ms. de la Salle begins her 2016-2017 season performing recitals and chamber music at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She will be heard with leading symphonic ensembles in Paris, Germany and the United States including performances with James Conlon and the National Symphony in Washington, DC and with Ludovic Morlot and the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as with the orchestras of Des Moines, Knoxville and Toledo, among others. Additional recitals and chamber music performances are to be heard in Washington, DC, Fresno, Detroit, and other cities around the country.

During the 2015-2016 season, Ms. de la Salle was heard with leading symphonic ensembles in London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, Baltimore, Detroit and Quebec, among others, with such esteemed conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Osmo Vanska and Douglas Boyd.  Concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel and Rachmaninoff demonstrated her fresh interpretations, compelling musicality and dynamic pianism. She made her debut in the Chicago Symphony recital series and was also heard in recitals and chamber music performances in New York, St. Paul, Santa Barbara, Winter Park, Portland, OR and at colleges and universities around the country.  In recent seasons she has also appeared witwith Jiri Belohlavek and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra and on tour with Sir Neville Marriner and the Staatskapelle Weimar. In the United States, she made her fourth appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, made her debut with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, and was also heard as a soloist with Roberto Abbado and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as Eugene Tzigane and the New Jersey Symphony.   

A sought-after recitalist, she has been captivating enthusiastic audiences and critics in major series in New York, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, and at the Philharmonie in Berlin, Wigmore Hall in London and the Louvre in Paris. Ms. de la Salle also takes pleasure in educational outreach and conducts master classes in many of the cities in which she performs.

Her critically acclaimed Naive CDs include an all-Chopin disc with a live recording of the Piano Concerto 2, Opus 2 with Fabio Luisi conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Four Ballades. In May 2011, Naïve issued her sixth recording, released in celebration of Liszt's Bicentennial. The recording includes both original Liszt compositions, such as the Ballade No. 2 in b minor, Funerailles, and the Dante Sonata, and Liszt's transcriptions of others' pieces, such as Mozart's Lacrymosa and Schubert's Ständchen. Diapason Magazine named the album the "Diapason D'or", and was the "Editor's Choice" in Gramophone Magazine, stating that "...the wonderfully gifted 23-year-old Lise de la Salle gives us a Liszt recital of astonishing strength, poetry, and, for one so young, musical maturity."

Born in Cherbourg, France in 1988, Ms. de la Salle was surrounded by music from her earliest childhood.  She began studying the piano at the age of four and gave her first concert at nine in a live broadcast on Radio-France. When she was eleven, Ms. de la Salle received special permission to enter the Paris Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique to study with Pierre Réach.  At 13, she made her concerto debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in Avignon, and her Paris recital debut at the Louvre before going on tour with the Orchestre National d'Ile de France playing Haydn's Concerto in D Major. Ms. de la Salle graduated in 2001 and subsequently enrolled in the postgraduate cycle with Bruno Rigutto. Since 1997, she has worked closely with Pascal Nemirovski, and also studied with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux.

In 2003, Ms. de la Salle won the European Young Concert Artists Auditions in Paris and in 2004 she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. Later that year, the organization presented both her New York and Washington, DC debuts.  At the Ettlingen International Competition in Germany, Ms. de la Salle won First Prize and the Bärenreiter Award.  She has also won First Prize in many French piano competitions, including the Steinway, Sucy, Vulaines, and Radio-France Competitions. In 2003, she won the "Groupe Banque Populaire Natexis" Prize, for which she received a three-year scholarship.
Lisa de la Salle