FREE Lunchtime Concert St Martin’s Embassy and Cultural Institute Series: Caroline Haffner (Piano)
Representing L’institut français
Chopin – Nocturne Op 48 No 1
Chopin – Ballade No 1
Liszt – Venezia e Napoli
Debussy – L’Ile Joyeuse
Caroline Haffner Piano
The style of playing – eminently romantic and dramatic – which characterizes Caroline Haffner’s performances allows her to be mentioned alongside the legendary pianists with whom she studied. As a child prodigy Caroline was one of the last students of legendary French pianist Alfred Cortot and was deeply influenced by the limpidité, fluidity and spontaneity of his style. Later she studied in Paris with Samson Francois, Pierre Sancan, and with David Oistrakh’s accompanist, the Russian teacher Lev Oborin in Moscow. All these varied and individualistic musicians strongly influenced her artistic understanding and development. Since her youth, the technical and musical skills of Caroline Haffner have brought her a string of prestigious awards.
The style of Caroline Haffner – a powerful energy with a highly disciplined temperament – has brought her a great reputation as a romantic pianist among fellow musicians such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Placido Domingo and Maxim Vengerov. Soloist with the ORTF, invited to Jacques Chancel’s “Grand Echiquier”, youngest lauréate at the Marguerite Long international competition in Paris, Grand Prix at the Genève International Competition, the Terni Casagrande competition and prize winner at the Busoni International Competition in Bolzano: these achievements marked the start of an international career as a concert and soloist performer. Caroline made her debut at the Théatre des Champs Elysées in Paris performing Tschaikovsky’s Concerto No 1 with Emmanuel Krivine. Since then she has played in all the major music festivals and on the main stages of the world – including the Carnegie Hall, Albert Hall and Tschaikovsky Great Hall – and worked with conductors such as Pierre Dervaux, Lawrence Foster, Igor Markevitch, Armin Jordan and orchestras including the New York Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players.
Caroline takes her stage name from her mother – descended from Sigmund Haffner, Mayor of Salzburg and friend of Mozart for whom he wrote the Haffner Serenade and Symphony of the same name. While most known for her sublime playing of music by Chopin, Caroline is also recognized as an interpreter of contemporary music, playing work by Olivier Messiaen and Luis de Pablo, and collaborating with a number of composers – including Henri Dutilleux, Yves Prin, Renaud Gagneux, Philippe Fénelon and Pascal Dusapin. While pianist in residence at the “Casa de Velazquez” in Madrid Caroline worked with Cristobal Halfter. She has recorded with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and was awarded a “Diapason d’Or.” Caroline recreated Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in the composer’s original version for Jazz Band and Classical Orchestra at St John’s, Smith Square, London.
In addition to her lifetime career as a pianist Caroline has founded and organized music festivals throughout the world with fellow artists, encouraging younger musicians.
“Caroline Haffner” is the artist’s name of Princess Caroline Murat.