Xavier de Maistre belongs to an elite category of soloists who are redefining what is possible with their instrument. Aside from new commissions from composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki and Kaija Saariaho, he performs works like Smetana’s “Ma Vlast” with breathtaking precision, presenting masterful arrangements of works that are usually played by an entire orchestra. The interpretation of these works, that few harpists before him have even considered playing, has contributed to his reputation as one of the most creative and extraordinary musicians of his generation.
Xavier de Maistre has appeared with major orchestras under the direction of such eminent conductors as Bertrand de Billy, Daniele Gatti, Kristjan Järvi, Philippe Jordan, Riccardo Muti, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Andrés Previn, Simon Rattle, Heinrich Schiff und Gilbert Varga. He performs at many of Europe’s leading festivals, including Schleswig-Holstein, Salzburg, Rheingau, Vienna and Verbier, the Budapest Spring Festival and the Wurzburg Mozart Festival. He collaborates with such chamber music partners as Diana Damrau, Mojca Erdmann, Daniel Müller-Schott, Baiba Skride, Arabella Steinbacher and Magalie Mosnier.
Orchestral highlights of the 2013/14 season include an extensive tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, performances with NHK Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, tour concerts with Basel Chamber Orchestra and debuts with Helsinki Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Malmo Symphony Orchestras. The season concludes with the world premiere of a new concerto by Krzysztof Penderecki, reuniting de Maistre with Orchestre de Paris. De Maistre will also give solo recitals as far afield as Shanghai, Macao and Montreal and appears in duo performances with Diana Damrau at Schubertiade, Grafenegg and Istanbul Festivals, at the Munich Opera Festival (Bayerische Staatsoper) and London’s Wigmore Hall.
In 2008 Xavier de Maistre signed an exclusive contract with Sony Music. Releases so far have included music by Haydn, Rodrigo, Ginastera and Debussy – the latter for which he was awarded the Echo Klassik Award 2009 as “Instrumentalist of the Year”. In 2012 “Notte Veneziana”, a recording of baroque concertos with the Ensemble l’arte del mondo, was released. Highly acclaimed by the press, ‘Notte Veneziana’ entered the top ten in the classical music charts. His forthcoming recordings include a DVD with Diana Damrau and a CD recording of Mozart piano concertos arranged for harp, with Mozarteum Salzburg and conductor Ivor Bolton.
Xavier de Maistre was born in Toulon and began to study harp at the age of nine. He finished his studies with Catherine Michel and Jacqueline Borot in Paris. In 1998 he was awarded the first prize at the prestigious International Harp Competition in Bloomington, Indiana. He immediately became the first French musician to join the ranks of the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – a position which he left in summer 2010. Since 2001 Xavier de Maistre has taught at the Hamburg Academy of Music. He also gives regular masterclasses at New York’s Juilliard School of Music, Tokyo’s Toho University and London’s Trinity College of Music.
Xavier de Maistre plays a Lyon & Healy harp