BIOGRAPHY

Xavier de Maistre

«Xavier de Maistre est un virtuose de premier ordre, profondément musical et capable de réaliser une gamme remarquable de nuances.» (Gramophone)

Xavier de Maistre is one of today’s leading harpists and a profoundly creative musician. As a fierce champion of his instrument, he has broadened the harp repertoire, commissioning new work from composers. He also creates transcriptions of important instrumental repertoire.

This musical vision has led him to work with conductors including Sir André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, Philippe Jordan, James Gaffigan, Bertrand de Billy, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Daniel Harding, Susanna Mälkki and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. He has been invited by orchestras such as Chicago, Montreal, City of Birmingham, NHK, Swedish and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras; Los Angeles, London, St Petersburg, Oslo and China philharmonic orchestras; Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In his native France he has worked with Orchestre de Paris, the national orchestras of France and Lyon, the philharmonic orchestras of Radio France, Monte-Carlo, Montpellier, Lille and Nancy, and recitals in Paris and Lille operas, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Poitiers and Avignon, among other places.

Parallel to his orchestral concerts, Xavier is passionate about chamber music and regularly puts together original recital projects. In 2020 he began a new collaboration with tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he records a project of South American folk songs for Deutsche Grammophon. Over the last seasons, he has worked with flamenco and castanet legend Lucero Tena in a programme of Spanish repertoire, touring major venues in Europe, Japan and China, and releasing an album (Sony Classical, 2018). Since summer 2020 he has been in residence at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. As a soloist he has been a guest at many top festivals, including Rheingau, Salzburger Festspielen, Wiener Festwochen, Verbier, Budapest Spring, Würzburg Mozartfest and Mostly Mozart in New York. He also works regularly with Diana Damrau, Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Müller-Schott, Baiba Skride, Antoine Tamestit, Mojca Erdmann and Magali Mosnier.

During the 2022/23 season, Xavier goes on tour with Orchestre National de France in Germany and in Austria under the direction of Cristian Măcelaru to play Reinhold Glière's famous harp concerto for the release of his new album. He also performs with Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Paris Chamber Orchestra and at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg. Xavier de Maistre also performs in solo recitals in venues such as the Staatsoper Berlin, in duo with Rolando Villazón at the Staatsoper Frankfurt and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and in duo with Diana Damrau at La Fenice in Venice.

De Maistre est un artiste exclusif de Sony Music depuis 2008, année où il a enregistré son premier album, Nuit d’Etoiles, consacré à Debussy, qui a remporté un Echo Klassik Award en tant qu’instrumentiste de l’année. Parmi les autres sorties, on trouve notamment Hommage à Haydn (2009), Aranjuez (2010) et Notte Veneziana (2012) ainsi que sa transcription du Concerto pour piano n° 19 en Fa majeur, K.459, de Mozart, avec le Mozarteum Salzburg sous la direction d’Ivor Bolton, Moldau (2015), des pièces pour harpe solo de compositeurs slaves, et La Harpe Reine (2016) avec Les Arts Florissants et William Christie. Son album «Christmas Harp» (octobre 2021) propose des paraphrases et fantaisies de célèbres chants de Noël ainsi que des mélodies de Schubert et Tchaïkovski. A l’automne 2022 parait son dernier disque dédié à la musique russe sur lequel figure le concerto de Reinhold Glière et le concerto oublié d’Alexander Mosolov, accompagné par l’orchestre de la radio de Cologne sous la direction de Nathalie Stutzmann.

Born in Toulon, Xavier studied the harp with Vassilia Briano at his local conservatoire, before perfecting his technique with Catherine Michel and Jacqueline Borot in Paris. He also studied in Sciences-Po Paris and then at the London School of Economics. In 1998 he was awarded First Prize (and two interpretation prizes) at the prestigious USA International Harp Competition (Bloomington) and became the same year the first French musician to be admitted at the Wiener Philharmoniker. He has taught at Musikhochschule in Hamburg since 2001.

He plays on a Lyon & Healy instrument.