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Christophe Rousset, who grew up in Aix-en-Provence, was still a teenager when he developed a passion for the Baroque era and for rediscovering the past. In 1976 he therefore took up harpsichord studies with Huguette Dreyfus at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, completing his education between 1980 and 1983 with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He launched his career at the age of 22 by winning First Prize at the Bruges Harpsichord Competition in 1983. Rousset then became a regular member of Les Arts Florissants and Il Seminario Musicale, while at the same time developing his career as a soloist. For example, his complete recordings of the harpsichord works of Rameau (1989) and Couperin (1992–94) brought him into the spotlight and won several awards. In 1991 Rousset founded his own ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, with whom he has since performed and recorded many operas that had fallen into oblivion. The ensemble won a wider following with its soundtrack to the film Farinelli (1994), while a more specialist audience has appreciated in particular such “excavations” as Tommaso Traetta’s Antigona, Martín Vicente y Soler’s La capricciosa corretta, Antonio Salieri’s La grotta di trionfo, and Johann Christian Bach’s Temistocle. Rousset has conducted staged performances at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, the Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Theater an der Wien. He also regularly works at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, where he has led new productions of Chérubini’s Médée and both of Gluck’s Iphigénie operas. Christophe Rousset is an Officier des Arts et Lettres and was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite by the French Cultural Ministry.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 5 September 2000 in a harpsichord recital of works by Rameau, Royer, and Forqueray.