For 150 years, the harpsichord in France was valued as an instrument of great poetic agency. Amidst the various dances rendered with incomparable ingenuity, composers inserted character pieces that evoked natural phenomena, atmospheres, or a human sentiment. The result is a sensitive, scintillating art, embellished with delicate ornaments.

First-prize winner in the International Harpsichord Competition in Montreal in June 1999, Violaine Cochard worked with the finest teachers to develop a personal and inventive style. In 1991 she was awarded a first prize at the Conservatoire (CNR) in Angers, where she studied with Françoise Marmin, and entered the classes of Christophe Rousset and Kenneth Gilbert at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM). Three years later she graduated with three first prizes – for continuo and harpsichord – awarded unanimously by the jury. She continued her training with Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset (advanced course at the CNSM in Paris).

An inspired continuo player, a fine soloist, a teacher for three years (1999-2002) at the Conservatoire (CNR) in Montpellier, Violaine Cochard devotes much of her time to chamber music, working regularly with various ensembles, including the Ricercar Consort (Philippe Pierlot), Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard Lesne), Les Paladins (Jérôme Corréas) and, of course, Amarillis, playing continuo or solo. She also plays continuo for operatic productions by Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset) and Le Concert d’Astrée (Emmanuelle Haïm). Violaine Cochard gives recitals and chamber concerts at festivals in France, elsewhere in Europe, and in Latin America (Cité de la Musique in Paris, La Chaise-Dieu, Nantes, Ambronay, Beaune, Montreux, Utrecht, Pisa…). She is also heard on France Musique and has been invited to take part in broadcasts for the BBC.

Violaine Cochard was a founding member of Amarillis, a baroque ensemble with a variable line-up which currently ranks amongst the most original groups in Europe. The Ensemble has been awarded three international first prizes.


Presented as part of the Jacques Dansereau Series

Thursday, February 13th 2020 at 7:30pm
Duration: 1 Hrs 30 Min

For tickets and information: 514-285-2000

Bourgie Concert Hall, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) complex, is a 444-seat venue located in the restored Erskine and American Church (designed in 1894 in Neo-Romanesque style by architect Alexander Cowper Hutchison). Designated a national historic site in 1998, the transformed setting is now graced with high-quality acoustics and an exceptional décor incorporating 20 historic Tiffany stained glass windows. Ideal for performances by chamber-music ensembles, string orchestras, and other groups, Bourgie Concert Hall offer music lovers an auditory repertoire as diverse as the MMFA collections.

Bourgie Concert Hall
1339 Sherbrooke Street West