Two years ago the young French harpsichord sensation, Jean Rondeau, brought to us Bach’s Goldberg Variations. This April, he will return to the University of Hong Kong to curate something even more ‘timeless’: in a series of four diverse programmes, he will attempt to eliminate the boundaries of time, culture, and genre, introducing to the Hong Kong audience his concept of ‘crossover’. Firstly, in Baroque Improvised, an ambitious dialogue between Bach and Scarlatti will be presented as Rondeau will first introduce selected works on the harpsichord, before showing off his virtuosic improvisations on the same tunes on the modern piano. Then, Rondeau’s jazz piano trio Cabane will offer a time-bending journey for all, exploring a blend of standards, original compositions, and open improvisations. There will also be a duet performance with Zheng player Chiu Tan Ching in Of Grace and Elegance and a masterclass with the students from the HKU Early Music Ensemble.
Despite their distinct sounds and cultural backgrounds, the harpsichord and the zheng represented subtlety and sublimity of their respective cultures before modernity, often evoking the graceful and elegant poses of court dance or music-making. What chemistry would be sparked if the pair were featured together, each employing its own scale system and timbre? In this contemporary and experimental duet, we will see Jean Rondeau and Chiu Tan Ching break cultural boundaries to create a unique musical bonding with one of the most unique instrumental line-ups!
Jazz and improvisation influence my interpretations of Baroque, classical and Romantic music, and by the same token, this music represents a great source of inspiration for my jazz work.”
A classical harpsichordist, jazz pianist, and composer, Jean Rondeau received training in basso continuo, organ, piano, jazz and improvisation, and conducting. He pursued further studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, graduating with honours, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
In 2012, at just 21 years old, Jean Rondeau became one of the youngest performers ever to take First Prize at the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges (MAfestival 2012), also winning the EUBO Development Trust prize, an accolade bestowed on the most promising young Baroque musicians in the European Union .
In 2013 he won the Prix des Radios Francophones Publiques. In January 2015, he received the award “Révélation soliste instrumental” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique.
Rondeau is now in high demand for solo, chamber music and orchestral appearances throughout Europe and in the United States.
He is signed to Erato as an exclusive recording artist. His debut album of music by J.S. Bach, Imagine, was released in January 2015. The second recording on Erato, Vertigo, saw Rondeau pay tribute to two Baroque composers from his native France: Jean – Philippe Rameau and Pancrace Royer. His latest album, Dynastie, explores keyboard concertos by Bach&Sons.