1 of 2
2 of 2
Soloists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain
Jeanne-Marie Conquer • violin
Alain Billard • bass clarinet
Jean-Christophe Vervoitte • horn
Born in 1965, Jeanne-Marie Conquer was fifteen when she graduated with highest honors at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. She continued her training with Pierre Amoyal (violin) and Jean Hubeau (chamber music). She joined the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1985. Jeanne-Marie Conquer fosters ongoing artistic relationships with contemporary composers. She has worked with György Kurtág, György Ligeti (for the Trio with horn and the Violin Concerto), Peter Eötvös (on his opera Le Balcon) and Ivan Fedele. Performing on tour with Pierre Boulez, David Robertson and Jonathan Nott has taken her all over the world, from Australia, the US, Argentina and Finland. Her recordings for Deutsche Grammophon include Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII for solo violin and Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Ode to Napoléon. Jeanne-Marie Conquer was also the soloist for Anthèmes II by Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival in 2002 and for the Violin Concerto by Ligeti at the Cité de la musique in 2003.
Born in 1971, Alain Billard was five years old when he started learning clarinet with Nino Chiarelli at the Ecole de musique de Chartres. He continued his studies with Richard Vieille at the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris (CNR) and then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, where he obtained a graduate degree under the tutelage of Jacques Di Donato. He joined the wind quintet “Nocturne”, with whom he graduated with highest honors in chamber music at the Conservatoire de Lyon and obtained second prize at the ARD International Competition of Munich.
Since 1995, Alain Billard has been a member of the Ensemble intercontemporain as bass clarinetist . He is constantly interacting with a wide range of musicians, and fleshing out his experience and instrumental palette by learning to play the tuba, saxophone and bass guitar. He has recorded Mit Ausdruck, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra by Bruno Mantovani, with Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; premiered Génération, a triple concerto for three clarinets by Jean-Louis Agobet, with Michel Portal, Paul Meyer and the Orchestre National de Strasbourg conducted by Jan Latam Koening and François-Xavier Roth; Machine for Contacting the Dead by Lisa Lim, for double bass clarinet, cello and ensemble with the Ensemble intercontemporain and Jonathan Nott. He also plays an active role in the Ensemble’s educational programs geared towards young audiences and future music professionals.
Born in 1970, Jean-Christophe Vervoitte studied horn with Georges Barboteu and chamber music with Maurice Bourgue at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Parallel to his instrumental training, he studied harmony and analysis with Jean-Claude Raynaud and conducting with Jean-Sébastien Béreau. He began working as a chamber and orchestra musician with the Prague Mozart Foundation and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Jean-Christophe Vervoitte joined the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1993 and the following year performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan under the baton of Pierre Boulez in Duo en resonance, for two horns and ensemble, by Ivan Fedele.
Since then, his interest in 20th century music has led him to perform at renowned theaters throughout Europe, as well as in Tokyo and Los Angeles. He has taken part in numerous premieres, including Bruno Mantovani’s Das erschafft der Dichter nicht alongside Barbara Hendricks. In February 2006, he premiered a work for horn and ensemble by Marc Monnet entitled Mouvement, autre mouvement (en forme d’études). Jean-Christophe Vervoitte is also passionate about teaching: he has taught at the Académie du XXe siècle located at the Cité de la musique, and has given several master classes at Carnegie Hall.