“A deeply fascinating musician”
New York Concert Review
Born with Swiss, French and Chinese origins, pianist François-Xavier Poizat graduated from the Geneva and Hamburg Conservatory, from the Juilliard School in New York and from the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with the teaching of Alexeï Golovin, Evgeni Koroliov, Nelson Goerner, Matti Raekallio and Benedetto Lupo. It is Martha Argerich who propelled him on the international stage by inviting him when he was 12 years old to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, recognizing his “deep lyricism and remarkable virtuosity”. This marked the beginning of a career that has brought him to perform in already 28 countries in Europe, Asia, and Americas, in venues like the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Tonhalle in Zürich, the Konzerthaus and Philharmonie in Berlin, the Seoul Art Center, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory or the Carnegie Hall in New York.
He was invited as a soloist by many major ensembles such as the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Suisse Romande and Svizzera Italiana Orchestra, the National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Lithuanian and Armenian National Chamber Orchestras, the Zürich Chamber Orchestra, the Poznan and the Caen Philharmonic. He has performed under the baton of Philippe Béran, Thierry Fischer, Neeme Järvi, Lukasc Borowicz, Bernard Labadie or Frédéric Chaslin, in famous festivals such as the Roque d'Anthéron in France, the Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, the Schubertiade in Porrentruy and Fribourg or the Septembre Musical in Montreux in Switzerland.
He has won prizes in significant competitions : Grand Prix at the 2004 International Competition for the Youth in Kassel, Germany, the 2007 Young Soloist Prize of the Radios Francophones Publiques, 1st Prize at the 2009 International Competition for the Youth of Oldenburg and at the 2009 Elise Meyer Competition in Hamburg, Germany, the Jury Special Prize at the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the 2012 Soloist Prize of the Migros Cultural Percentage in Zürich, before being a finalist at the 2013 Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland. He was also supported by the Migros and Leenaards Scholarships.
His large solo and chamber music repertoire includes 500 years of music and more than 35 concertos, as well as all works with piano by Maurice Ravel, his favorite composer. As a fierce defender of accessible and exciting modern music, he regularly performs works from living composers and friends such as Daniel Schnyder, Albena Petrovic-Vrachantska, Aleksey Igudesman or Horacio Fernández Vázquez.
He has recorded five albums with the Naxos, Ars Produktion and Piano Classics labels. In autumn 2024, a box with six CDs including the whole work of Maurice Ravel will be published with the label Aparté, featuring both piano concertos, the complete solo works, the chamber music with strings and four hands or two pianos and the songs. His musical partners for this monumental project are the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the also British violinist Michael Foyle and cellist Jamie Walton as well as the Brazilian conductor Simone Menezes and the Swiss pianist Louis Schwizgebel-Wang.
Being eager to contribute to the music world not only as a performer, he is also an avid concert organizer. The Festival Puplinge Classique in Geneva, which he founded in 2010 welcomes 250 musicians every summer from all over the world to perform up to 20 concerts in the city where he grew up. A new Stravinsky Festival was also founded by him in 2021 in Voreppe, a beautiful French city where not only Stravinsky lived in the 30s, but also where François-Xavier was born a few decades ago.
In his free time, you may meet him in some unsuspected places, like in a jazz club improvising at jams, in a Thaï Boxing club (being a passionate combat sport trainee for the last 20 years) or with his fingers in the mud of his beloved garden.