French harpsichordist Olivier Baumont has distinguished himself as a performer and scholar, specializing in French Baroque repertoire. He took up the harpsichord without learning piano first, sharing his family's love for French history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He studied with Kenneth Gilbert and Huguette Dreyfus and worked with Gustav Leonhardt in his master classes in Cologne. He was awarded first prize in harpsichord (1981) and in chamber music (1982) at the Paris Conservatory and won the Concours de Solistes de Radio France in 1982. He frequently performs at music festivals in Europe, England, and the United States, and has toured widely. Since 1992, he has directed the Festival Couperin at Chaumes-en-Brie. In September, 2001, Baumont became professor of harpsichord at the Paris Conservatory. He is the author of a biography of François Couperin, has edited harpsichord works by Michel Corrette and Jacques Duphly, and has contributed scholarly articles to numerous musicological journals.
“Bach taught himself the Italian style with these arrangements of Vivaldi violin concertos. One track of strangely erratic tempos (an ill-advised collation of two 'takes' perhaps?) then lively allegros and lyrical aria-like largo movements.”
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