Belkin and Dumont delighted the audience at Theatre des Varietes
Last Thursday, October 16, Japanese pianist Maki Belkin and French pianist Francois Dumont joined forces to give a magnificent recital for two pianos at the Theatre de Varietes in Monte-Carlo, for a standing room only audience. The event was organized by Crescendo, the association of friends of music of Monaco, with the support of the Direction of Cultural Affairs of the Principality.
The program included known pieces for two pianos by greatest composers like Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Claude-Achille Debussy, Serge Rachmaninov and Maurice Ravel, which were interpreted with passion and mastery by this talented duo, a real gem of a recital. Their performance enchanted the audience who applauded enthuthiastically. Belkin’s children came onto the stage to offer her a wonderful bouquet of flowers that in turn she graciously offered to his co-star Dumont.
After the recital we were all invited for drinks and canapés with the chance to partake with the artists in a convivial atmosphere. Among the music lovers and supporters was Marc Monnet, Director of the Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo who honored the pianists with his presence.
Maki Belkin was born in Japan and started learning piano at the tender age of 7 years old, pursuing her studies at the University Toho Gakuen obtaining the highest distinctions. In 1992 she left for Moscow to work with M. Voskrensky and she was awarded the “Special Prize Hironaka” the following year. She also participated in the Master Classes of Cecile Ousset in France. It was in 1998 when she entered the CNR in Nice to specialize in French music with Odile Poisson and Helene Portanier, and the following year she was recognized with several awards including the First Piano Prize.
Belkin has been playing for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo for more almost 15 years, performing at times as a soloist. She has participated in numerous music festivals in Japan and Europe, within the framework of the Printemps des Arts of Monte-Carlo as well as prestigious concert halls. She often plays chamber music together with violinist Vera Brodmann-Navakova, cellist Thierry Amadi, and in 2006, she created the Berlin Ensemble with other musicians of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin. At present she records with Vera Brodmann-Novakova, Suite Italienne, Duo Concertant and Divertimento of Stravinsky. As for contemporary music she performs Urs Brodmann’s creations, and she records and interprets pieces of Francois-Bernard Mache in his presence.
Francois Dumont was born in Lyon and worked with Chrystel Saussac and Herve Billaut before joining the CNSMD of Paris at the age of 14 in the class of Bruno Rigutto. He has received many awards in international competitions in Brussels, Warsaw, Cleveland (USA), Switzerland, Japan and the Piano Masters in Monte-Carlo. He was nominated to the Victories of Music in 2011 in the instrumental soloist category, and in 2012 he received the Revelation Prize of the French Musical Critic.
Dumont performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Fortworth Symphony in the USA, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Warsaw and Cracow, the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, the Cannes Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice, the Tokyo Symphony of Liepaja in Lithuania and more.
As of late Dumont participated in the Radio-France Festival in Montpellier, the Chopin Festival in Bagatelle, Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw among others, and was on a tour in Japan during September 2014. His discography as a soloist includes the Mozart Sonatas with Anima Records, a Chopin disc with Artalinna and a double album with the tests of the Chopin Competition published by the Chopin Institute in Warsaw. His piece for piano of Maurice Ravel recently launched with Piano Classics has been recognized with the FFF Telerama as well as five Diapasons.