Tell us about what you have been up to recently?
Many things!!! Working a lot between the Lyon Opera House of course and my new teaching position as teacher at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon. But also traveling a lot, recitals and masterclasses, Germany, I was in the US in New York for a recital and masterclasses at the Juilliard School, in 3 weeks it is the Nielsen concerto at the Nancy Opera House, and also other concertos in Germany the same week (I know I am crazy), and masterclasses in Madrid, in April recital in Istanbul and at the Beijing Opera House, Masterclasses in Shanghai and London, the Flute Convention in Spain, May Masterclasses in Geneva, then June one week of recitals in Korea, then the Orford academy in Canada, then Flutes by the Sea in San Francisco (yeahhhh!!!), then one week in Slovenia to end when with the International Summer Academy in Nice…. And then…. Holidays in August…..
How does it feel to be back in France after your time in LA?
It is like I never left, although I think about my life in LA everyday…. Things here haven’t changed, it is the old Europe you know. And will never change. Food wise it hasn’t been hard to be back here in Lyon!!! I miss the Californian sun, the spirit of course, my week ends in San Francisco, etc…. I am so happy to be back in California this summer.
Can you tell us a little more about what were the influencing forces that steered your decision to return to France?
Oh my god…. Well it would be too long to write it, and most people now know everything because I did a big interview in New York to explain why I left…. But if I could make it simple:
To go back to France for a better balance between a professional life, health and family. I make it very simple. The choice was the most horrible choice to make in my life. I am not ready to do that again, I had the choice between 2 different fantastic lives. No regret, the show must go on!!!
What things do you have for 2016?
Besides what I said at the beginning, I have bought a new place in Lyon… Beautiful apartment in a building From the 16th century in the heart of the city. Lot of work to do inside but I can’t wait to move in!!!
Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
Hard question…. I like to work with people who can surprise me. Yes. Being surprised and never knowing how it is going to happen. I love that. It is my excitement….!!
If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?
Gene Kelly. And learn how to dance from him. I would love to spend time also with Gustav Mahler in his little wooden chalet by the lake, having a dinner with JFK and Jackie, playing duets with Frederic the Great, King of Prussia. And last, meeting Paul McCartney and finally my favorite painter David Hockney.
What is your favorite pastime?
I would say I don’t have a pastime particularly but there are several things which make me happy. Seeing my family in Bordeaux, walking in the streets of Lyon, buying local food at the market by the river, waking up and listening to the news, discovering new places to eat, and going to the cinema which is around 100 meters from my home. When I have time I can see 2 movies in a row. I love movies, especially French dramas, where the reality and beauty of life is so well filmed. But I also like end of world movies. I have always been fascinating by how everything will end. Don’t worry I feel great, no depression to heal!!!!!
Playing at the Hollywood bowl on summer 2014 Marvin Gaye’s album what’s going on and going back home with my new beetle in the streets of Los Angeles…. No one knows except me how happy I was that night when I was driving home.
And also, all the family moments in our family house by the ocean at cap ferret in France.
Too hard to chose one but I would say.
Mozart, Verdi and Mahler. I have everything from those 3. I mean everything.
Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Martha Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Maria Callas, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Chet Baker.
Traveling, being with myself, reading, politics and home decoration.
What is the future of classical music?
Tough one…. Dark. So dark that we have to play even better. But maybe humanity is dark anyway. So I cease the day. Every time I play I feel I am so lucky to have been able to do what I dreamed to do. And even in my crazy dreams, I would have never thought I would go that far.
This gratitude should serve the music everyday, so people will enjoy it as much as we do. And maybe it will keep the classical music alive. Gratitude and respect for the music will make it last.
5 quirky (don’t think too much about this) fun things about you?
I hate wine. Really. I never drink any alcohol, coffee, no cigarettes. Honestly. Never tried in my life. I only like champagne. But I hate wine. And I am from Bordeaux… I know.
I am a big fan of Dire Straits. I have all the album and I know all the songs.
I love shopping in San Francisco.
I only watch politics show on TV.
And I love soccer. Like most Europeans.