History and values of the festival

The festival Les Coups de Cœur à Chantilly presents a program of musical weekends of the highest international artistic standards, in exceptional heritage locations within the idyllic setting of the Chantilly Estate, all properties maintained by the Institut de France: The Great Stables, the Gallery of Painting, the Jeu de Paume and the Maison de Sylvie (the grand, elegant house in the heart of the gardens).

Quality programming in an exceptional venue

The “Coups de cœur in Chantilly” festival offers the public a unique experience of exceptional live music!

Under the impetus of pianist Iddo Bar-Shaï, artistic director, the festival’s first edition in 2021 was a closed-door affair centred around the legendary Martha Argerich, divided into three magnificent stages filmed and re-broadcast by the major channels dedicated to music in May and June 2021: Mezzo TV, Medici TV, Qwest TV and France Musique. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate her 80th birthday, surrounded by Gidon Kremer, Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov, Mischa Maisky…

The 2021 spring edition also gave Renaud Capuçon the pleasure of presenting Les Solistes de l’International Menuhin Music Academy.

For the 2022 edition, Martha Argerich returned to Chantilly for a new selection of her personal ‘coups de cœur’, with old friends at her side as well as new musical encounters with artists who have lit up the world stage for years: from longtime musical collaborator Stephen Kovacevich to the young French cellist Edgar Moreau.

The year 2023 marked a turning point for the festival, with a new structure encompassing four musical meetings in Chantilly each year: two weekends in the spring and two in the fall, each dedicated to a chosen artist or ensemble of renown. They enthral the public not only with their own multifaceted talents and artistry, but also with their own ‘coups de cœur’: carefully chosen repertoire and handpicked special guests.

Suffering from COVID, the pianist Maria-João Pires regrettably was unable to maintain her performances as the festival’s guest of honor. Nonetheless, the public enjoyed her ‘coups de cœur’ led by the excellent French pianist Frank Braley, who graciously stepped in at the last minute. With the complicity of such artists as Augustin Dumay, Miguel Da Silva, Steven Isserlis, Iddo Bar-Shaï, Yann Dubost, Teo Gheorghiu, and Samuel Bach, the public enjoyed a sublime musical experience with a line-up of incomparable talent, surely enough to restore strength to Ms Pires, who was greatly missed on this occasion but has promised to return to Chantilly for a future edition.

Fifteen days later, the Dome of the Great Stables was the setting for concerts directed by Leonardo García Alarcón, whose refined and incisive conducting inspired the guest soloists, Cappella Mediterranea and the Chamber Choir of Namur in breathtaking artistic transcendence. The weekend’s festivities opened with a rarely heard, recently rediscovered masterpiece by baroque composer Michelangelo Falvetti: Il Diluvio Universale (The Great Flood), and reached a climax with a powerful performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers. The distribution of the artists throughout this unique space allowed the audience to experience their virtuosity in sumptuous surround sound.

Throughout both weekends, the festival renewed its cherished tradition of offering a free masterclass for students from conservatories in Chantilly and the region, which participants have described as an ‘unforgettable experience’.

Following on from this year’s thrilling and emotionally rich spring edition, who will be the next artists in the spotlight in Chantilly?

The fall edition of ‘Coups de Cœur’ in Chantilly will continue the artistic excellence already established in previous incarnations. Lauded as one of the greatest string quartets active today, the Modigliani Quartet has invited, to our great delight, the baritone Matthias Goerne, pianists Benjamin Grovesnor and Iddo Bar-Shaï, violinist Sayaka Shoji and the young Elmire Quartet… Together, they will create a voyage into the heart of the most beautiful pages of the chamber music repertoire.

For this final weekend of the Coups de Cœur for 2023, we have the joy of welcoming back the iconic Martha Argerich. This will be a unique opportunity to attend a world premiere: for the first time, Miss Argerich will be accompanied by her daughters Lyda Chen on violin and Annie Dutoit as narrator, along with her two grandsons David Chen and Roman Blagojevic, both on piano, for a familial Carnival of the Animals that promises to be one of the highlights of the weekend. We will also hear the French premiere of Sephardic Songs arranged by Alberto Hemsi, shining light on the Jewish cultural influence in Martha’s creative output. Pianists Stephen Kovacevich, Theodosia Ntokou, Dong-Hyek Lim, soprano Tehila Nini Goldstein, clarinet virtuoso Nicolas Baldeyrou, percussionist Emmanuel Curt… Just a few of the stars set to perform alongside this indefatigable piano icon.

An exceptional setting, internationally renowned artists whose talent exceeds the emotional capacity of the heart ensure an unforgettable moment will unfold over each weekend of the Coups de Cœur in Chantilly, creating a truly inspiring musical adventure, incomparable yet accessible to all.

Iddo Bar-Shaï, Artistic Director

Born in 1977, Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shai trained at the Rubin Academy of Music (Tel-Aviv University) with Bracha Ornan-Margalit and then with Pnina Salzman – a former student of Alfred Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique and First Prize in the class of Magda Tagliaferro at the Conservatoire de Paris. He also benefited from the teaching of Alexis Weissenberg. Fellow of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (1988-1999), he has been the winner of numerous national and international competitions.

He is now pursuing his international career in Europe, Asia, Brazil and the United States, in particular on the prestigious stages of the Wigmore Hall (London), the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), the Opera City Hall (Tokyo), Beijing Zhongshan Hall and Fredric R. Mann Auditorium (Tel Aviv).

→ Read full bio here

The Musica Pnina association

The Musica Pnina association is committed to presenting renowned musical works and artists to the public, while encouraging the emergence and recognition of young talent. It also develops intergenerational transmission by organising educational exchanges between international artists and young musicians from local music schools and departmental, regional and national conservatoires.
The association provides access to music for all audiences and aims to take music out of its traditional venues.
It is also committed to carrying out all activities of general interest of a cultural and artistic nature that contribute to the promotion of music and, more generally, to the development of cultural life. It presents musical works to the public and contributes to French creation and the dissemination of little-known French and international musical works by facilitating and broadening access to concerts and musical works.
It organises exchanges and educational encounters between international artists and students from music schools and conservatoires to promote the practice of music, particularly the piano.
Lastly, the association plans to organize concert tours. The association’s aims are not-for-profit and socially meaningful.