Jean-Pierre Rampal
1922 – 2000


Photographs in this section taken at the
Académie Internationale d'Eté,Villa Paradiso, Cimiez,
Nice, France, summer, 1970


I first heard Rampal in 1965 when I was 15, at one of the Frick Collection´s free Sunday concerts in a program of Baroque sonatas with Robert Veyron-Lacroix on harpsichord. At the time, Rampal´s Baroque interpretations were considered so refreshing and engaging that in the following years, Lincoln Center twice presented the duo at Avery Fisher Hall playing all seven Bach Sonatas and also at a late (11 pm) concert, where they played all ten Handel Sonatas!  So inspired by his playing, I attended his summer master classes in Nice in 1967.



The class was still mostly European, and with a daily attendance of about 25, the atmosphere very intimate. Rampal´s assistant, Alain Marion, could be found outdoors, working with two or three students in the shade of a tree or of the Villa´s side porch. Nice was a vacation period for Rampal; his relaxed state during the three week course offered a unique opportunity to hear his expressiveness at its best.




Just to hear him breath life into a single phrase was revelatory. Perhaps equally instructive was to witness his sympathetic responses to the music being played; his expressions reflected both his profound feeling for the music as well as what he hoped would materialize in the student´s playing. To be in the presence of his natural flow, both while he played and listened, was an incredibly inspiring experience I attempted to capture on film.                                                                                                     


With Jean-Paul Pirard


With Leone Buyse during an outdoor class at the
                   Cimiez Monastery                   


With Isaac Stern playing the J.S. Bach Concerto for Two Violins, 1968


These countless magical moments led me to return several times.  Although I had decided not to major in music in college, Rampal´s influence kept me fluting and prompted my move to Paris after graduation to study the French school of playing with Alain Marion, and later with Maxence Larrieu.


Recording the César Franck and Gabriel Pierné sonatas
at the Eglise Libanaise, Paris, 1973



YouTube Videos:

With Pryor, 1968. Photo by Coleman Citret

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