Raphaël began his musical training at the Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles and went on to study singing, the violin and the piano at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional and Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. As a young countertenor he sang under the direction of Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, and Geoffroy Jourdain with whom he performed contemporary works.
In 2006 he founded the ensemble Pygmalion, which combines a choir and a period instrument orchestra. The ensemble’s repertoire is nurtured by the filiations that link Bach to Mendelssohn, Schütz to Brahms, and Rameau to Gluck and Berlioz. Along with this group – now an associate ensemble at the Opéra de Bordeaux – he is invited to appear at leading festivals, where he has attracted attention with his interpretations of Bach’s sacred music and Rameau’s tragedies lyriques.
Among the most striking projects over the last few years have been his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the creation of Trauernacht on the music of Bach, directed by Katie Mitchell (2014), the rediscovery of Rossi’s Orfeo (Opéra National de Lorraine, Opéra de Versailles, 2016) and the ambitious spatialisation of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, which received international acclaim (Holland Festival, BBC Proms, Chapelle Royale de Versailles, Bachfest Leipzig, 2017).
Raphaël Pichon’s repertoire has gradually expanded as he has conducted choral works such as Ein deutsches Requiem by Brahms, Mendelssohn’s Elias and Strvinsky’s Noces. He is regularly invited to conduct other ensembles such as the Holland Baroque Society, the Stavanger Symfoniorkester, Les Violons du Roy, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Opernhaus Zürich and the DSO Berlin.
After releasing the complete Missae breves of Bach (including the B minor Mass) and a version of Dardanus for Alpha, Raphaël Pichon now records for harmonia mundi, a collaboration that has so far produced Bach’s Köthener Trauermusik (2014), Castor et Pollux (2015), a DVD version of Dardanus and Rheinmädchen (both 2016). His 2017 releases were Stravaganza d’Amore in book-CD format and Rossi’s Orfeo (DVD) and in 2018 the Funeral of Louis XIV (DVD) and Enfers with Stéphane Degout were released. Also released recently was Mozart and the Weber Sisters with Sabine Devieilhe (Erato, 2015).
This discography has received prizes in France and abroad, including Gramophone Award 2016, CD des Monats (Opernwelt), Diapason d’Or de l’année, Choc de Classica, ffff de Télérama, a Victoire de la Musique 2015, an Edison Klassiek Award 2016, a Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for 2016, and Best Classical Recording 2016 on Forbes.