Sébastien Surel, violin
A curious and insatiable artist, as well as a passionate and multi-faceted musician, Sébastien Surel is an instigator of cultural connections: he attaches great importance to the creation of links between different music and cultures. His luminous and spirited playing, expressed through a broad repertoire, is unanimously applauded by peers and critics alike.
Born in 1975 into a family of musicians, he was accepted at the age of 15 to the Paris Conservatoire (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris), where he studied with Sylvie Gazeau and Christian Ivaldi. After obtaining two diplomas from the Conservatoire, he continued his studies with Shlomo Mintz, Pavel Vernikov, Georgy Sebök and the Ysayë Quartet. In addition to the violin, he studied harmony, orchestration and composition.
Before devoting himself entirely to solo and chamber music, he acquired valuable orchestral experience, as concertmaster of various groups and then as a permanent member of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France from 2000 to 2003.
In 2004, he founded the Talweg trio with the pianist Juliana Steinbach and the cellist Sébastien Walnier. This group, which he is extremely fond of, was to be a turning point in his musical life. Supported by Martha Argerich, the group was invited to many festivals in Europe and in Asia. Their first record, which included works of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovitch received a Diapason d'Or award from Diapason magazine. The complete recordings of the Johannes Brahms trios will appear in early 2014.
A diverse array of projects have marked his career, from the Parisian musical association 'La Chambre d'Amis' which he co-founded and of which he is musical director, to collaboration with artists such as Roland Pidoux, Henri Demarquette, Abdel Rahman El Bacha, Michel Moraguès, the Wanderer trio, and Paul Radais and Aurélien Sabouret as a string trio.
His vast repertoire includes chamber music as well as solo music, such as the complete Mozart concertos, the concertos of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Sibelius, Barber and the Chausson Poème.
Sébastien Surel has been invited to perform on the world's most prestigious stages, including the Barbican Centre (London), the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Théâtre de la Ville and the Théâtre du Châtelet (all three in Paris), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Santa Cecilia (Rome), the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), the Dresden Opera, the Kioi Hall and Metropolitan Art Center (Tokyo) as well as at jazz festivals such as Montreux, Vienne, Montreal, Marciac and Nice.
A musical chameleon, he performs with equal aplomb with an extremely diverse range of musicians, such as Juanjo Mosalini, Tomás Gubitch, Jean-Philippe Viret, Vincent Segal or Richard Galliano, with whom he has already given more than 500 concerts throughout the world, either as a guest artist or as a creator of new ensembles.
Sébastien Surel has a strong commitment to education and particularly to teaching the violin and chamber music. He obtained the Certificat d'Aptitude, the highest French distinction for musical pedagogy, in 2011.
His violin was made by Giuseppe Guadagnini in 1788.