French pianist Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua, (pronounced Enkawa), born in 1963, obtained first prize with distinction in piano at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur when aged only fourteen.
Finalist and prize winner in the Clara Haskil (Switzerland) and the Santander Competitions, he was invited by the Yokohama Piano Festival before he was twenty years old, and was then engaged as a soloist by several Japanese orchestras such as the New Japan Philharmonic.
Collaborations with musicians from Eastern Europe, such as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra or the Moscow Soloists conducted by Yuri Bashmet, launched him on several concert tours in the former USSR, including Moscow, Saint-Petersburg-where he has recently played Liszt’s transcription of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique at the Mariinsky Concert Hall- , Ekaterinburg and Kiev. Critics have often praised his natural sense of phrasing and colour, as well as his ability to bring the music to the foreground, rather than himself.
In search of musical truth through sometimes unusual paths, he is not afraid to blend Bartók and jazz standards in the same concert, like in his piano duo with the American composer Christopher Culpo. His interest for jazz and its creators enables his world premiere recording of solo and two pianos music of the legendary jazz composer Martial Solal,.
EFN’K is also an avid performer of chamber music and has performed with eminent musicians like Pierre Amoyal, Heinz Holliger or Michel Portal. He forms an unconventional duo with the French violonist Gilles Apap. The two have recorded works of Enesco, Debussy and Ravel in a cd praised by the American Record Guide,
Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua often gives broadcast recitals in Europe and has performed in prestigious concert halls like the Theâtre du Châtelet (Paris)n the Wigmore Hall (London).or at the Miami International Piano Festival. He has recorded the Liszt Sonata, a recital of french music, and a Bach cd featuring the Goldberg Variations. He has recently formed a piano and strings sextet, playing concertos in “pocket orchestra” versions. His next recording project gathers together tradition and originality in a repertoire rarely performed in recital, featuring a distinctive piano transcription of tStravinsky"s Rite of Spring, and original solo versions of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel's La Valse.