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Ophélie Gaillard

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A French cellist, conductor and teacher, Ophelie Gaillard (June 13, 1974) is widely regarded as one of the world's finest classical musicians, noted for her versatility, passionately encompassing Baroque, romantic, classical and contemporary. From Paris, she studied at the Conservatoire de Paris obtaining first prizes in chamber music, cello, and Baroque cello under the tutelage of Maurice Bourgue, Philippe Muller, and Christophe Coin, going on to win third prize at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition. She was also voted Solo Instrumentalist of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2003 and gained a cello teaching diploma and a degree in musicology from the Sorbonne. In 2004, she embarked on an enduring and productive musical partnership with accordion player Pascal Contet, also devising shows with dancers and in 2005 she founded Pulcinella, a chamber ensemble devoted to playing Baroque music on period instruments. Her reputation, however, was mainly founded on her solo interpretations, championing the solo cello repertoire from J.S. Bach's suites to works by Benjamin Britten, Henri Dutilleux, Crumb, and the composers of the younger generation, many of them in collaboration with pianist Vanessa Wagner. Among the orchestras she has performed with include the Polish Radio Orchestra, Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra and the Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Budapest. She hit the headlines in 2018 when she was robbed at knifepoint and her rare cello, made in 1737 by Francesco Goffriller, was stolen. After an international appeal it was anonymously returned two days later. That same year, she released the album Strauss: Don Quixote & Cello Works, which was followed by Boccherini: Cello Concertos, Stabat Mater & Quintet (2019), Vivaldi: I Colori dell’Ombra (2020), and Cellopera (2021), recorded with the Morphing Chamber Orchestra and conductor Frédéric Chaslin.