Born in 1984, Raphaël Pichon started his musical life in the children’s choir of the Petits Chanteurs of Versailles, before studying singing, violin and piano at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Starting out as a young countertenor, he then sang under the direction of Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, and Geoffroy Jourdain with whom he initiated working on contemporary creation.
In 2006, he founded and took the direction of the Pygmalion Ensemble, a choir and orchestra which focuses on a repertoire using authentic instruments that consists in works covering diverse periods: from Bach to Mendelssohn, from Schütz to Brahms, and from Rameau to Gluck or Berlioz. With this ensemble, now associated with the Opera of Bordeaux, he has been invited in important festivals, where he has had considerable success with his interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sacred choral music as well as Rameau’s lyric tragedies.
Among the most prominent projects of those few past years, we can mention his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with a new staged production by Katie Mitchell, Trauernacht, on Bach music (2014), the resurgence of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo at the Opéra National de Lorraine and at the Opéra Royal de Versailles (2016), a staged creation on Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Virgine (2017) which was internationally acclaimed (Holland Festival, BBC Proms, Chapelle Royale de Versailles, Bachfest Leipzig).
Raphaël Pichon’s repertoire has been progressively widening with the direction of choral pieces like Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elias as well as Stravinsky’s The Wedding. He is regularly invited to conduct other formations like the Holland Baroque Society, the Stavanger Symfoniorkester, the Violons du Roy, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Zurich Opera House, the DSO Berlin, etc.
After having recorded with Alpha, including Bach’s four Missae Breves and the Mass in B minor as well as Rameau’s Dardanus, he joined Harmonia Mundi in 2014. With this label he recorded the Köthener Trauermusik (Bach), Rameau’s Castor & Pollux, Rheinmädchen, a new DVD version of Dardanus and soon Stravaganza d’Amore, as well as a DVD of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo and an album around Hells with Rameau and Gluck. He also collaborated with the soprano Sabine Devieilhe on a recording dedicated to Mozart and to the Weber sisters (Erato, 2015). This discography was internationally rewarded: Gramophone Award 2016, CD des Monat (Opern Welt), Diapason d’or of the year, Choc de Classica, ffff of Télérama, Victoire de la musique 2015, Edison Klassiek award 2016, Grand prix of the Académie Charles-Cros 2016, Best Classical recording 2016 for Forbes…
The season 2017-2018 will be most eclectic with a new production staged by Katie Mitchell on Purcell’s work, Miranda, at the Opéra Comique de Paris in September, a large cycle of Bach’s cantatas at the Philharmonie de Paris, called “Bach en 7 paroles” (“Bach in 7 words”) in which music and other performing arts encounter, and a series of concerts with the baritone Stéphane Degout around Rameau and Gluck. Finally, this rich season will be ending with Mozart’s Requiem and other freemasonic pieces at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, and the resumption of Simon McBurney’s version of The Magic Flute at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.