Xavier de Maistre belongs to an elite category of soloists who are redefining what is possible with their instrument. Aside from commissions from composers such as Kaija Saariaho, he performs works like Smetana’s “Ma Vlast“ with breathtaking precision, presenting masterful arrangements of works that are usually played by an entire orchestra. The interpretation of these works, that few harpists before him have even considered playing, has contributed to his reputation as one of the most creative and extraordinary musicians of his generation.
Xavier de Maistre has appeared with major orchestras under the direction of such eminent con-ductors as Bertrand de Billy, Lionel Bringuier, Daniele Gatti, Kristjan Järvi, Philippe Jordan, Riccardo Muti, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and André Previn. He performs at many leading international festivals, including Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Salzburg Festival, Budapest Spring Festival and Mostly Mozart in New York. He collaborates with such chamber music partners as Diana Damrau, Magali Mosnier, Daniel Müller-Schott, Baiba Skride and Arabella Steinbacher.
The 2016/17 season begins for de Maistre with the premiere of a harp concerto written for him by Kaija Saariaho at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Another highlight is the programme inspired by Marie Antoinette with Les Arts Florissants under William Christie, which will tour to European capitals. Other engagements include with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Finnish Radio Symphony and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. Further afield he travels to Asia, South and North America, working with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo and Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He appears as a solo recital artist at such centres as KKL Luzern and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
De Maistre has an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music. Releases have included music by Haydn, Rodrigo, Ginastera and Debussy – the latter for which he was awarded the Echo Klassik Award 2009 as “Instrumentalist of the Year”. In 2012 “Notte Veneziana” was released and entered the top ten in the classical music charts. Most recent releases include a DVD with Diana Damrau and a CD recording of Mozart piano concertos arranged for harp. In spring 2015, “Moldau – The Romantic Album” was released, a recital CD featuring Slavonic repertoire, which received high critical acclaim.
Xavier de Maistre was born in Toulon and began studying harp aged nine. He studied in Paris and in 1998 he was awarded first prize at the International Harp Competition in Bloomington, Indiana, immediately becoming the first French musician to join the ranks of the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2001 Xavier de Maistre has taught at the Hamburg Academy of Music. He also gives regular masterclasses at New York’s Juilliard School of Music, Tokyo’s Toho University and London’s Trinity College of Music.