François Killian


Born in Paris in 1962, François Killian has shown from an early age, musical and piano gifts which led him, at age 13 to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in Jean and Geneviève Doyen's class. Two years later, George Cziffra heard him playing a Concerto of Scriabine with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and encouraged his vocation.

For several years, François carried on his study at the CNSM of Paris with Ventsislav Yankoff and at the same time studied chamber music, harmony and counterpoint. In 1980, he won the first prizes for piano and chamber music. The same year, he was admitted to postgraduate studies in the advanced course, François Killian won at 19, the ARD International Piano Contest of Münich.


Whishing to improve his repertoire, he left France for two years to study at the Musikhochschule of Hanover with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. This is the start of his career on the other side of the Rhine; he registered music with many broadcasting radio stations and passed in 1986 the Konzertexamen.

François Killian was invited to play under the batons of they're Guschlbauer, Emmanuel Krivine, Hubert Soudant and Jesus Lopez-Cobos. He was invited to play at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, at the Philharmonic and the Konzerthaus of Berlin, at the second Music Festival of la Roque- d'Anthéron, at France Musiques, and at the Wigmore Hall.


He is particularly appreciated for his interpretations of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann or Brahms but also Ravel or Szymanowski.


He won a prize at the Chopin competition in Warsaw and Palma de Majorca (1985), at the Milosz Magin competition of the Friends of Polish Music (1987), at the GPA of Dublin (1988) and at the Arthur Rubinstein competition of Tel-Aviv (1989). It is in 1996, for the finale of the Monte-Carlo Piano Masters, live broadcasted from the Opera that François Killian, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, conducted by Jean- Bernard Pommier, made his name with his interpretation of the Concerto for the left hand of Ravel.


In 1998, he replaced with a great success underlined by the press, the pianist Krystian Zimerman at the Festival "Music and Friendship'' of Biel, playing the Second Concerto of Rachmaninov, conducted by Grzegosz Nowak. At the moment, most of his concerts are taking place in Germany, in particular in the Palatinat where in 1999, he performed the major event of playing, in 10 concerts, the complete work of Chopin. Complete musician, as good at chamber music as at solo playing, he participated very recently at the discovery of the composer Paul Juon (1872 - 1940) and he recorded and played several of his works for piano.


Chamber Music: The set up in 1999 of the European Fine Arts Trio with Tomasz Tomaszewski, first konzertmeister of the Deutsche Opera Orchestra of Berlin and Pi-Chin Chien, prize winner of the Leonard Rose Competition of Washington, was successful. It won the Fryderyk Polish Prize for the best recording of chamber music with the trios of Chopin and Debussy (DUX). They also did for the "Musiques Suisses'' label, the recording of the triple concerto of Paul Juon (1872 - 1940) with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Cracow conducted by Tomasz Bugaj. EFAT is the outstanding interpreter of the work of this composer.


François Killian is also a member of the Charis Ensemble composed of solo players from the main German orchestras and specialized in wind and string instruments with piano from the trio to the octet. Appreciated accompanist and partner of a wide range of artists such as Philippe Bernold, Lajos Lencses, Jacques Zoon, Nobuko Imai or Natalie Dessay.