Elizabeth Sombart pianist
'Sombart’s playing is superb: technically precise but possessing a flexibility and freedom that lets the music breathe'
The Observer 2016
Beethoven Piano Concerto Series recorded
with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Pierre Vallet for Signum Records to mark Beethoven's 250th anniversary in 2020
Beethoven Piano Concertos Volume 1:
'poetic and sensitive playing'
International Piano Magazine
Selected by BBC Music Magazine as one of
the top 10 recordings released in 2020 celebrating Beethoven’s 250th anniversary
Classic FM Album of the week 9-13 March 2020
Favourite Adagios recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Pierre Vallet (2016)
French pianist Elizabeth Sombart has performed in the world’s most prestigious concert venues: Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris). Performances include solo and chamber recitals as well as concertos with, among others, L’Orchestre National de Lille and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recently appeared with tenor Andrea Bocelli by invitation in special gala concerts in Bucharest and Fatima.
Elizabeth started playing the piano at the age of seven. She studied at the conservatoire of her home town and gave her first public performance at eleven. After receiving the National Piano and Chamber Music First Prize, she left France to study in Buenos Aires with Bruno-Leonardo Gelber. Her training was completed with great masters such as Peter Feuchtwanger in London, Hilde Langer-Rühl in Vienna, and finally Sergiù Celibidache at the University of Mayence, with whom she studied musical phenomenology for ten years.
From a young age, Elizabeth has sought to share classical music with the most diverse audiences possible, and with people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 1988, she created Fondation Résonnance, which is active today in seven countries. One of the foundation’s key goals is to bring classical music into the community, to institutions where it is most needed: hospitals, orphanages and prisons. More than five hundred concerts are planned in these venues every year. Fondation Résonnance also aims to create piano schools with the founding principles of free teaching, no exams, no competitions, no age restrictions, and using the teachings of the Résonnance Pedagogy – the phenomenology of sound and gesture. Click here for an account in Elizabeth's words.
Elizabeth has recorded an extensive discography, published several books, and featured in a number of documentaries. As a result of her expertise in musical phenomenology, she has a particular passion and reputation for interpreting the musical language of Chopin. Discography includes well-received recordings of Chopin’s two piano concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Favourite Adagios, a double CD of adagio movements from the great piano concertos, also with the RPO. Most recently she has recorded all Beethoven's Piano Concertos and the Triple Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for release by Signum Records during 2020, marking the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. A full cycle of live performances of those concertos is also scheduled with the RPO at Cadogan Hall from 2019-2021.
Elizabeth Sombart has been honoured in France with the ranks of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for lifetime achievements and services to music.
Classic FM attended Elizabeth’s rehearsal for a performance of Beethoven Piano Concertos with string quintet at St Giles-without-Cripplegate in June 2019 and shared a video of the rehearsal online.
Further audio-visual material relating to Elizabeth's Beethoven 250 project here