With Violaine Cochard, the harpsichord unveils all its facets. Her training is marked by evident rigour: she started studying with Françoise Marmin at the young age of eight in Angers. She entered the Paris Conservatory in 1991 to study with Christophe Rousset and Kenneth Gilbert, and with Pierre Hantaï for her post-graduate training. In 1994, she was unanimously awarded the first prize in harpsichord and basso continuo. In 1999, she won first prize at the prestigious Concours musical international de Montréal.
In tandem, Violaine Cochard began a quickly prolific career. A recitalist and chamber musician, founding member of the ensemble Amarillis (along with Ophélie and Héloïse Gaillard), she has also been a stage partner to eminent musicians such as the countertenor Gérard Lesne, the gamba player Marianne Muller and the violinists Amandine Beyer and Stéphanie-Marie Degand. Violaine Cochard is also a noted pedagogue, having taught at the Montpellier Conservatory and regularly invited to give master classes there.
After harpsichord, voice is Violaine Cochard's other passion, and she is among the most soughtafter singing masters in Europe. She devotes herself to her love of vocal arts by occupying an important place in several Baroque ensembles: Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset), Le Concert d'Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm), La Diane française (Stéphanie-Marie Degand) and I Gemelli (Emiliano Gonzalez Toro).
In the context of her numerous collaborations, she has recorded around forty albums for different labels. As a soloist, she has produced two albums of François Couperin's music and a third of J.S. Bach's works, which was particularly well received by critics. With her longtime duo partner, the violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand, she recorded an album of Jacques Duphly's pieces for harpsichord and violin as well as Mozart's first sonatas. In addition to her work in the Baroque world, Violaine Cochard likes to collaborate with musicians from other genres, such the band Tram des Balkans and the jazz pianist Édouard Ferlet, with whom she formed a unique and hitherto unseen duo that has produced two well-noted recordings: Bach plucked/unplucked and Plucked'n Dance (Alpha Classics). Released in October 2018 on the label La Musica, her most recent solo album is dedicated to the works of Jacques Duphly and his contemporaries
Photo credit: ©Philippe Matsas