Steven Isserlis in Chantilly

1 and 2 June 2024

This first weekend will be dedicated to the cello with Steven Isserlis. Musician, author, and novelist, Steven Isserlis has chosen to structure his concerts around the themes of the “Schumann Salon” and “Proust: words and music.” This latter programme draws inspiration from the music mentioned in the works of Marcel Proust, as well as musical pieces that inspired fictional characters like composer Vinteuil. Part of the programme will be devoted to the works of Gabriel Fauré, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his death this year, and who, along with Robert Schumann, is among the two favorite composers of Steven Isserlis. A weekend of chamber music that promises to be full of colour and poetry.

Programme of the weekend

SATURDAY 1 JUNE 2024 - 6.00pm: Proust: words and music ● Dôme des Grandes Écuries du Domaine de Chantilly

Irène Duval, violin

Blythe Teh Engstroem, viola

Steven Isserlis, cello

Frank Braley, piano

Iddo Bar-Shai, piano

Carolyn Sampson, soprano

Bertrand Dazin, counter-tenor

Amira Casar, narrator

The Master Choir of the Conservatoire de Chantilly

Léon Delafosse: Les Silenciares (soprano and piano)
Reynaldo Hahn : Cimetière de Campagne (soprano and piano)
Reynaldo Hahn: Infidélité (soprano and piano)
Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Opus 12, I. «Des Abends» (piano)
Johann Sebastian Bach / Charles Gounod: «Ave Maria» version in E-flat major (violon, piano and children choir)
Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat major, Opus 61
Camille Saint-Saëns: Sonata for violin No. 1 in D minor, Opus 75, excerpt (violin and piano)
Charles Gounod: Ah ! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir (Jewel Song), excerpt from Faust (counter-tenor and piano)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Guitares et mandolines (soprano and piano)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre, Opus 40 (soprano and piano)
César Franck: Nocturne, M.85 (soprano and piano)
César Franck: Le Sylphe, M.73 (soprano, cello and piano)
Gabriel Fauré: III. Adagio, excerpt from Piano Quartet and strings in C minor, Opus 15, No. 1 (violon, viola, cello and piano)

Between the pieces, texts written by Steven Isserlis will be performed by the actress Amira Casar.

SUNDAY 2 JUNE 2024 - from 10.00am to 1.00pm: Masterclasses ● Conservatoire Municipal Le Ménestrel de Chantilly


Frank Braley, piano Because excellence and transmission are inseparable, because encouraging the young musicians of our next generation is part of what professional musicians deeply believe in, Frank Braley will share his knowledge and inspiration during a morning session with the piano classes of the conservatoire Le Ménestrel.
SUNDAY 2 JUNE 2024 - 11.00am: A Young Talents Concert ● Galerie de Peinture du Château de Chantilly

Madelyn Kowalski, cello

Jonathan Ferrucci, piano

With the participation of Steven Isserlis, cello

Gabriel Fauré: Allegro Moderato for two cellos
Pablo Casals (arr.): El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the Birds)
J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 2 in D Major BWV 1028 for viola da gamba
Olivier Messiaen: V. Praise to the Eternity of Jesus., excerpt from Quartet of the End of Time
Francis Poulenc: Sonata for cello and piano

With the precious support of Classeek, patron of the Festival

SUNDAY 2 JUNE 2024 - 5.00pm: In Robert Schumann's Salon ● Dôme des Grandes Écuries du Domaine de Chantilly

Irène Duval, violin

Anna Göckel, violin

Blythe Teh Engstroem, viola

Steven Isserlis, cello

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

Iddo Bar-Shaï, piano

Carolyn Sampson, soprano

Amira Casar, narrator

Schumann and Clara:
Variations on a Theme of Clara Wieck, excerpt from Sonata No. 3, Opus 14 (piano)

Schumann and ancient legends:
Excerpts from Romanzen und Balladen (voice and piano) :
     Arme Peter Wankt, Opus 53 No. 5
    Es fiel ein reif, Opus 64 No. 3b
3 romances for cello et piano, Opus 94

Schumann the modernist:
I. Im ruhigen Tempo, extrait de Gesänge der Frühe, Opus 133 
Ballade für Deklamation No.2, II. «Die Flüchtlinge», Opus 122 

Schumann the lover:
IV. Wenn ich in deine Augen, extrait de Dichterliebe, Opus 48
Adagio and Allegro, Opus 70


Schumann’s farewells:
XIX. Frühlings Ankunft, excerpt from Liederalbum für die Jugend, Opus 79
II. Langsam, excerpt from concerto for violin in D minor, WoO 23 (arrangement Steven Isserlis for violon, cello and piano)
Theme of Geistervariationen WoO 24 (piano)

Schumann, master composer:
Piano Quintet et strings in E-flat major, Opus 44

Between the pieces, texts written by Steven Isserlis will be performed by the actress Amira Casar.


Amira Casar

Versatile, multidisciplinary, and multilingual, Franco-European actress Amira Casar grew up in England, Ireland, and France. She studied dramatic arts at the Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique in Paris and showcased her acting talent by playing numerous characters, accents, and dialects in various languages. She has appeared in over 75 prestigious films, TV series, and radio works, collaborating with international directors such as Carlos Saura, Tarek Saleh, Anne Fontaine, The Quay Brothers in The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes in 2005, Guy Maddin, Catherine Breillat in Anatomy of Hell, the cult comedy trilogy Would I Lie to You? for which she was nominated for a César, Tony Gatlif’s Transylvania (official selection at Cannes), the Larrieu brothers in To Paint or Make Love (official selection at Cannes), Werner Schroeter’s Nuit de Chien (Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival), Wolfgang Becker in Me and Kaminski (in German), artist Sophie Calle (Venice Biennale 2009) in Take Care of Yourself, Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent (official selection at Cannes in 2014). In 2018, she appeared in the internationally acclaimed, Oscar-winning Call Me by Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino.

On television, she appeared in the international series Versailles for CANAL+ (as Béatrice, a complex spy and Protestant), as surrealist artist Dora Maar in The Woman Who Cried With a Red Hat, for which she won the Best Actress award at the La Rochelle Festival, and in Forty for Channel 4, where she played Kristina, a tormented scientist.

Amira Casar has performed on Europe’s most prestigious stages. She played the lead role of Petra in The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Hedda in Hedda Gabler, and the neo-Nazi Mindy in Aunt Dan and Lemon at the Almeida Theatre in London. In 2009, she played Ans in Les enfants de Saturne, directed by Olivier Py, at the Théâtre National de l’Odéon (Paris). In 2015, she portrayed Goneril in King Lear at the Avignon Festival – Palais des Papes, also directed by Olivier Py. In 2018, she played Olga in Three Sisters, directed by Simon Stone at the Théâtre National de l’Odéon. She played Joan of Arc in Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher at the Barbican Centre in London with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop. In 2019, at the Salzburg Festival, she played Medea in a production directed by Simon Stone and conducted by Thomas Hengelbrok (with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). In 2023, she was the narrator in Purcell’s The Indian Queen at the Salzburg Festival, directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Teodor Currentzis with the Utopia Orchestra.

She also frequently engages in readings and recordings for France Culture, including narrating volumes 1 and 2 of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend.

Amira Casar loves immersing herself in her characters, exploring all facets of complex souls. In 2019, she appeared in the CANAL+ TV series Les Sauvages, directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, playing an international classical music conductor and First Lady of France, and as an army commander fighting against ISIS in Sisters in Arms by Caroline Fourest.

In 2016, Amira Casar was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture for her significant contribution to the arts. In 2015, for her audio recording of Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro’s Too Much Happiness, she was named Best Female Artist by the prestigious Académie Charles Cros.

In 2019, she was a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival, Critic’s Week selection.

In 2021, Amira appeared in Honey Cigar by Kamir Aïnouz (Venice Film Festival 2020, Giornate Selection) and in the Hollywood film The Contractor, directed by Tarek Saleh, with Chris Pine, on Amazon Prime.

In 2022, she was directed by Josée Dayan in the famous French TV series Capitaine Marleau, and by Yann Gozlan in Visions.

She also starred in the American mini-series A Small Light (released on May 1, 2023, on Disney+), retracing the life of Anne Frank, where she played her mother, Edith Frank-Holländer.

In 2023, she played Perle Lefranc, one of the protagonists of the French TV series La Maison for Apple TV, which explores the turmoil of a major fashion house. She was also the patron of ‘Printemps des Poètes’, a major event for the French poetry scene.

In 2024, she portrayed the artist Louise Abbéma in the feature film La Divine, directed by Guillaume Nicloux, which chronicles the life of actress Sarah Bernhardt.

She will soon star in Yaban, a modern adaptation of Medea, directed by Tareq Daoud.

Steven Isserlis

Steven Isserlis is a renowned British cellist, soloist, and chamber musician. His musical repertoire spans various periods, from baroque to contemporary music. He has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras and has performed with period ensembles. Isserlis is known for premiering numerous works, including compositions by eminent composers such as Sir John Tavener, Thomas Adès, and György Kurtág.

His award-winning discography includes a wide range of cello works, including Bach’s suites, Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano, as well as recordings of concertos and sonatas. He has received two Grammy Award nominations for his recordings of Haydn’s cello concertos and Martinů’s cello sonatas.

Iddo Bar-Shai

Iddo Bar-Shai was born in Nazareth in 1977 and studied at the Rubin Conservatory in Tel Aviv under Pnina Salzman. He attended masterclasses in several countries, including those of Alexis Weissenberg. At the age of eleven, Iddo Bar-Shai received a scholarship from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation. At twelve, he gave his first concert with an orchestra. He has since successfully participated in various competitions in Israel, the United States, and France, as well as major festivals (Verbier, Ravinia, La Roque d’Anthéron, Lisbon, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and La Folle Journée de Nantes). He has also performed with various chamber music ensembles (Ysaye, Aviv, and Ebene quartets).

Several concerts by Iddo Bar-Shai have been broadcast on radio. His first two CDs featuring sonatas by Haydn and Chopin’s mazurkas, recorded on the Mirare label, have been highly acclaimed by critics.

Irène Duval

Recognized for “her mastery of phrasing and dramatic dimension” (Diapason), “her infinite delicacy” (Le Populaire du Centre), and “her breathtaking virtuosity” (ResMusica, Prades), Irène Duval has won multiple international competitions and is a regular performer of concertos, recitals, and chamber music, and has become known for the intensity of her interpretations and her keen interest in combining lesser-known works with central pieces of the repertoire.

Irène places great importance on chamber music and has had the opportunity to perform and work with musicians such as Gidon Kremer, Olli Mustonen, Ferenc Rados, and Christian Tetzlaff. She happily participates in the Open Chamber Music at IMS Prussia Cove in Cornwall, the Krzyzowa Chamber Music Festival in Poland, the Norsjo Chamber Music Festival in Norway, and the Festival Chamber Music Connects the World at the Kronberg Academy.

Blythe Teh Engstroem

Blythe was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. She studied in the United States before moving to Switzerland, where she lived with her husband and children.

Blythe is a passionate chamber musician, counting among her partners the Ebene Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Lawrence Power, Nobuko Imai, Steven Isserlis, István Vardai, and Gábor Takács-Nagy.

She has performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, the Royal Concertgebouw’s recital hall, the ElbPhilharmonie’s recital hall, Schloss Elmau, and the Verbier Festival. On the organizational front, Blythe is a founding member of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, has been the artistic director of Schloss Elmau, and was recently appointed co-artistic director of the Verbier Festival. Blythe plays on a G.P. Maggini viola from 1610, generously loaned by a private benefactor.

Frank Braley

Frank Braley studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris under Pascal Devoyon, Christian Ivaldi, and Jacques Rouvier, earning unanimous First Prizes in Piano and Chamber Music. In 1991, he won the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. Both the public and the press recognize him as a “great” laureate, praising his exceptional musical and poetic qualities.

Regularly invited to Japan, the USA, Canada, and throughout Europe, Frank Braley partners with major orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Philharmonique de Radio-France, and many others. He has performed under the baton of esteemed conductors including J-C Casadesus, Stéphane Deneve, Charles Dutoit, Armin Jordan, and Hans Graf, among others. Braley’s extensive repertoire and collaborations have solidified his reputation as a versatile and accomplished musician on the international stage.

Carolyn Sampson

Over the last twenty-five years of her career, Carolyn Sampson she has sung with countless world-class musicians and these recordings serve as testament to both her versatility as an artist and wide variety of repertoire.

Live performance highlights of the season include her debut at Berlin Staatsoper singing Cruse in a new Peter Sellers production of Charpentier’s Medée conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, Mahler Symphony no B (soprano 1) with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester under Semyon Bychkov, Bach Passions with the Netherlands and Rotterdams Philharmonisch Ordest and concerts with the Cesk Filharmonie, Budapesti Fesztivalzenekar, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Symphonieorchester des Baverischen Rundfunks under Sir Simon Rattle. She presents recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh and at the Muziekgebouw as part of the Grote Zangers series.

Bertrand Dazin

Bertrand Dazin is a countertenor, haute-contre, and alto singer. From the age of seven until 1995, he was a member of the Petits Chanteurs de Lille and the Maîtrise Boréale directed by Bernard Dewagtère. He studied at the CNR in Lille and at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. A student of the late British countertenor James Bowman since 1995, he has worked with numerous conductors such as Jean-Claude Malgoire, Olivier Schneebeli, Laurence Equilbey, Gabriel Garrido, Marc Minkowski, Frans Brüggen, Emmanuelle Haïm…

From 2000 to 2023, he founded and performed in duo with his master James Bowman the Baroque ensemble La cathédrale invisible.

He has participated in numerous recordings and television or radio broadcasts, and has organised and staged many recitals around baroque music and poetry.

Madelyn Kowalski

American cellist Madelyn Kowalski has built an impressive musical career, beginning with cello lessons at age seven and making her concerto debut at 14. She studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Alison Wells, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Notable performances include recitals at the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, where she received the André Hoffmann prize, and collaborations with artists like Kim Kashkashian, Jane Coop, and Jonathan Ferrucci. Kowalski has participated in prestigious festivals such as IMS Prussia Cove and Yellow Barn Festival, and attended masterclasses with renowned cellists including Steven Isserlis and David Geringas.

She has premiered works by composers like Diana Syrse and Errollyn Wallen, and received awards such as the Louis Carus Duo Ensemble Prize at the RCS.

Jonathan Ferrucci

Italian-Australian pianist Jonathan Ferrucci has established himself as a versatile performer across Europe, Australia, and the United States, showcasing his talents in prestigious venues like Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Weill Hall.

A recipient of various awards, including the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Ferrucci’s repertoire spans from baroque to contemporary composers, with a particular focus on J.S. Bach.

Notable projects include upcoming recitals in the UK and France, as well as an album release featuring Bach’s complete Toccatas in 2025. He has collaborated with renowned artists like Angela Hewitt and has been influenced by mentors such as Giovanni Carmassi and Joan Havill. Ferrucci’s commitment to music extends beyond the piano, as he is also a dedicated practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga, which he considers essential to his life and musical endeavors.

Anna Göckel

Born in 1992 in Marseille, Anna Göckel has traveled with her violin to some of the most beautiful musical stages, from Tokyo to the Opera House of Mexico, passing through the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Herkulessaal in Munich, Carnegie Hall in New York, and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival.

Passionate about chamber music from a young age, she co-founded the Karénine Trio with which she shared intense years of research and concerts (2009-2015).

In 2024, she is invited as artist in residence to two prominent chamber music venues, by Steven Isserlis with the Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK) and with the legendary Marlboro Music Festival, under the artistic direction of Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss. In 2023, Anna Göckel joined the Aviv Quartet, becoming its first violin.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Renowned pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is celebrated for his prolific recording and concert career in the classical music sphere.

Engagements for the 2023/24 season feature performances with esteemed orchestras like Les Siècles and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, conducted by luminaries such as François-Xavier Roth and Leonard Slatkin. His recital series at Wigmore Hall showcases diverse programs, often in collaboration with notable musicians like Steven Isserlis and Quatuor Danel. Bavouzet has graced prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall and Philharmonie de Paris, and he is a regular presence at festivals like Verbier.

With an exclusive recording contract with Chandos, Bavouzet’s recordings have garnered critical acclaim, earning awards from Gramophone and Diapason d’Or. Notable for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, and French composers, Bavouzet holds esteemed positions within the classical music community, including the International Chair in Piano at the Royal Northern College of Music. Throughout his illustrious career, he has collaborated with esteemed figures and received prestigious awards, including the ICMA Artist of the Year.