It was in 2009 that the pianist Thomas Valverde, who came with his parents on holiday in the area, and had the idea to propose to the town hall of Biarritz and the creation of a piano festival. Started quietly with a small budget of a few thousand euros, this festival has grown over the years, and has managed to hold its own in the game, to compete with the festivals, the most renowned, such as Pianos to the Jacobins in Toulouse, or la Roque-d’anthéron, in the Luberon valley. The first concert was given by Tristan Pfaff, then unknown to the international scene.
And it is here the spirit of the festival: offer of music but also discover interpreters. Certainly, there are a few headliners: to celebrate its ten years, the festival has invited the two sisters Kathia and Gvantsa Buniatshvili who have sold out to the Midi train station. Or Arcadi Volodos, who, next Saturday, will play the last concert of this edition 2019 at the Bellevue room. So far, the bulk of the programming has been entrusted to young artists, even if some of them are already stars such as Simon Ghraichy.
For the anniversary concert of 10 years, which lasted three hours, Lutxi Nesprias, Evann Shinners or Tristan Pfaff to return for the occasion, succeeded. And since the festival has the intention to open up to other instruments, we invited the guitarist Thibault Cauvin and mezzo-soprano Catherine Trottmann.
To come to Biarritz Piano Festival this week, Niron Mukumi at the Palace hotel on the 6th August, James Martin Barlett Space-Bellevue on August 7, and, in the evening of closing, Arcadi Volodos on 7 August.