...his innate direction of unity and contrast involves us in the mystery of the works of Beethoven - Guy is the music and above the music.
François-Frédéric Guy has a reputation for interpretations of great authority, intensity and insight. He is especially renowned for his performances of large-scale works in the Austro-German tradition – BBC Radio 3’s CD Review selected his Naïve recording of Beethoven’s epic Hammerklavier Sonata as the finest in the catalogue.
Guy has performed worldwide with orchestras such as the Berlin Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Hallé, Helsinki Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre national de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and San Francisco Symphony. In the summer of 2006 he made his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia. Other outstanding conductors with whom he has worked include Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Neeme Järvi, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Michael Tilson Thomas. In recital he has performed in cities including London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Vienna and Washington, and at festivals including La Roque d'Anthéron, City of London, Cheltenham and Yokohama. After his debut recital in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Berliner Morgenpost wrote: Guy is a pianist of astonishing expressiveness, with immaculate pianistic technique... a man of the present even when he plays Schubert...
Among François-Frédéric Guy’s most notable recordings are those of Prokofiev’s Sonatas 6 and 8 (Naïve) and Brahms’s Sonatas 2 and 3 (Meridian). He has also recorded Brahms’s Piano Concerto No 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Paavo Berglund (Naïve). His chamber music recordings include Beethoven and Brahms’s Cello Sonatas with Anne Gastinel and Brahms’s Clarinet Sonatas with Romain Guyot. As part of his ongoing Beethoven project he recently completed recording the five Piano Concertos with Philippe Jordan and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. BBC Music Magazine commented: The performance… confirms Guy as one of the foremost pianists of his generation about the first CD of the series (Concertos 1 & 5). Guy has embarked on a project to record all thirty-two Beethoven Sonatas.
His two most recent CD releases have received high acclaim. The Gramophone Magazine said of his Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses & Sonata in B minor CD: He is enthralling in the "Invocation", most opulent of curtain-raisers, mystical in the "Ave Maria"...this is a true act of musical devotion. Of his Op 7 from Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol 1 Gramophone Magazine said he builds this movement,immense in spiritual scope, into a profoundly stirring ediffice. François-Frédéric Guy studied with Dominique Merlet and Christian Ivaldi at the Paris Conservatoire, where he graduated with the Premier Prix. He is a keen reader of the works of Dostoyevsky and of biographies and memoirs of musicians. In addition to his admiration of Beethoven – whom he describes as the Alpha and Omega of music – he has special affinities with the music of Bartók, Brahms, Liszt and Prokofiev and a strong commitment to contemporary music with close links to composers such as Ivan Fedele, Marc Monnet, Gerard Pesson and Hugues Dufourt, who recently dedicated a significant new piano piece Erlkönig to him.
François-Frédéric Guy is supported by the Safran Foundation for Music.