Jonathan Fournel

Award-winning pianist to perform in Boliqueime

French award-winning pianist Jonathan Fournel will perform a highly anticipated concert at the São Sebastião church in Boliqueime on Saturday, June 3 at 9pm.

The concert will be free to attend, providing everyone with an opportunity to see why Fournel was named the winner of the 2021 edition of Concours Reine Elisabeth, described as “one of the most demanding and also one of the most widely publicised international competitions”.

The event, named in honour of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium (1876–1965), is also seen as “a springboard for young violinists, pianists, singers, and cellists on the threshold of an international career.”

The Al’Musa Association, which is organising the concert, says that the competition’s jury praised the “majestic purity and lyrism” and “unquestionable sense of storytelling” in his performances.

Jonathan Fournel’s concert in the Algarve will begin with an interpretation of Mozart’s Sonata No.14, followed by an “intriguing work of the great composer Cézar Franck” and “fascinating variations of Karol Szymanowski”. The performance will come to an end with an interpretation of Sonata No.1 Opus 1 by Johannes Brahms.

The 29-year-old musician was born in Sarrebourg in 1993 and started playing the piano when he was just seven years old. In 2000, he began studying at the Conservatory of Sarreguemines, having continued his journey the following year at the Conservatory of Strasbourg.

He was admitted to the Musikhochschule of Saarbrücken, Germany in 2006, where he studied under Robert Leonardy and Jean Micault. In 2009, he continued his studies with Bruno Rigutto, Brigitte Engerer, Claire Désert and Michel Dalberto at the Conservatory of Paris (CNSMDP), where he also majored in collaborative piano under the tutelage of Jean-Frédéric Neuburger.

Since 2016, Jonathan has been an artist in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Chapel in Belgium, where he receives coaching from Louis Lortie and Avo Kouyoumdjian. He has participated in masterclasses given by many great pianists, including Laurent Cabasso, Aldo Ciccolini, and Jean Micault.

Apart from winning the Concours Reine Elisabeth, Jonathan Fournel has also been awarded prizes and laureate honours in competitions including the Concours International d’Epinal, the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (2nd Prize), the Thomas Kuti Competition (2nd Prize), the Gian Battista Viotti International Piano Competition (1st Prize) and the Scottish International Piano Competition (1st Prize).

By Michael Bruxo
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