First prize winner at the “André Navarra” and “In Memoriam Rostropovitch” international competitions, Yan Levionnois is also a laureate of the first cello edition of the Queen Elisabeth competition and of the last Rostropovitch competition, where he won the prize for the “most remarkable personality”. He was nominated at the Victoires de la Musique 2011, and he is a prize winner of the Banque Populaire and Safran foundations, an Adami 2013 classical revelation, and since 2016 an associate artist of the Singer-Polignac Foundation in Paris.
He has given solo performances with, among others, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Sinfonia Varsovia, and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, under the baton of Daniele Gatti, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, and Heinrich Schiff, and his many chamber music partners include great personalities such as David Grimal, Antoine Tamestit, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Nicholas Angelich, David Guerrier, Emmanuel Pahud, and the Ébène Quartet. An eclectic musician, he performs often with jazz accordionist Richard Galliano, and plays regularly as principal cellist of the conductorless orchestra “Les Dissonances”, taking on the great orchestral repertoire, from Beethoven symphonies to works by Ravel and Stravinsky.
His discography has been praised by critics and audiences alike since his first cd “Cello Solo”, released in 2013 for Fondamenta. Along it, one can notably find a cd of sonatas with pianist Guillaume Bellom and “Pierrots Lunaires”, a cd of duets with violinist Mélanie Clapiès, released for the same label, as well as a recording of Rachmaninov’s Elegiac Trio n°2, released by EMI classics in the “Martha Argerich and Friends 2011” box set.
Extremely attached to the music of his time, he has worked closely with composers Jonathan Harvey, Bruno Mantovani, and Éric Tanguy. Furthermore, he commissioned composer Kryštof Mařatka to write a piece for the “Cello Solo” cd, and premiered the Concerto for cello and wind orchestra by Richard Dubugnon, a collaboration which is at the heart of the movie “Ce qu’il faut de silences”, directed by Thierry Augé.
It was his sudden passion for Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry which led him to create “Illuminations”, a music and poetry show in which he is both cellist and narrator.
Yan Levionnois began studying the cello with his father before continuing in Paris with Marc Coppey and Philippe Muller, in Oslo with Truls Mørk, and in New York with Timothy Eddy, where he also took philosophy classes at Columbia University.
He had the privilege to participate in the creation of his cello, conceived by Patrick Robin, and plays a bow made for him by Yannick Le Canu.
Cello Sonatas - EPK
Guillaume Bellom, piano
Chopin - Cello Sonata, Largo
Adam Laloum, piano
La Folle Journée, Nantes, 2010
Saint-Saëns - Cello Concerto
Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Europe
Nicolas Krauze, conductor
Harvey - Three Sketches for Cello Solo
Festival de Pâques, Deauville, 2013
Agence artistique Jacques Thelen
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