“Evoking all at once the popular, the virtuoso, the religious, the late and the esoteric Liszt, this variety allows to discover and appreciate the objective qualities of Jean Muller. Clear ideas, ample playing adapt seamlessly to all periods and styles with a facility that never lets one guess the important work that is required to reach such an ease.“
Jean Muller was born in Luxembourg in 1979. At the age of six he took his first lessons with Marie-José Hengesch at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg. Only one year later, he made his fi rst public appearance with the fi rst performance of a work by his compatriot Alexander Mullenbach. During his year at the Academy of Music in Riga in 1995 on a European exchange programme, TEMPUS, studying under Teofíls Bikís, he took the decision to devote his life to music. Until 2006, he studied in Europe – Brussels, Paris and Munich – gaining exposure to the most diverse schools of piano in the classes of Evgeny Moguilevsky, Gerhard Oppitz, Eugen Indjic, and lastly, Michael Schäfer. Outside the formal structure of the schools, his father and mentor Gary Muller, piano teacher at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, has had a decisive infl uence on his musical development. Jean Muller’s education has been complemented by guidance from musicians such as Anne Queffélec, Leon Fleischer, Janos Starker, and Fou T’song.
Since 1994, Jean Muller has been awarded fi rst prize at several French competitions: Jean Françaix, Francis Poulenc, and at Arcachon. He was a winner of the International Forum of Young Performers, a European competition organised by the Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision (UER) on behalf of UNESCO and the International Music Council. Jean Muller has performed on several occasions during state visits of Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa of Luxembourg. In 2007 His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg made him Chevalier of the Ordre du Mérite Civil et Militaire Adolph de Nassau.
Jean Muller regularly performs internationally, at major concert halls such as Megaron in Athens, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Hall, the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, the Salle Cortotin Paris, the Arsenal in Metz, the Munich Philharmonic Hall and the Liederhalle in Stuttgart. Muller is regularly invited to prestigious festivals, such as Festival Bourglinster, Festival A*Devantgarde Munich, Festival Echternach, Festival de Saintes, KotorArt, Incontri pianistica di Cosenza and PianoTexas. He has made solo performances with orchestras such as the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, the Münchner Symphoniker, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Les Solistes Européens Luxembourg, conducted by renowned conductors including Frédéric Chaslin, Jack-Martin Händler, Zubin Mehta and Bramwell Tovey.
The international press acclaims the fact that he uses his exceptional virtuosity in the service of intense, well thought-out interpretations. At the Poulenc Competition, Jean-Claude Pennetier, president of the jury and renowned pianist, said, “Everything is there: fi ngers, head and heart”. His CDs, published by JCH-Productions, Turtle Records, Polymnie and Fondamenta Productions, have also been warmly reviewed by the musical press, receiving the Excellentia and Supersonic awards from Pizzicato magazine, Coup de Coeur from Piano Magazine, 4 étoiles from Classica, 4 Diapasons, and the Arte CD Selection.
Jean Muller’s recording, the Complete Beethoven Sonatas, performed in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, has also been warmly welcomed by both the public and the press. The recording of this cycle of concerts will be released soon under the Bella Musica label. In 2009-2010 he was in residence for the CAMERATA cycle organised by the Solistes Européens in collaboration with the Soirées de Luxembourg at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. In 2010-2011, he will be performing at Carnegie Hall, New York and undertaking a third tour in China.
If you would open any biography of Franz Liszt, you would probably mostly read about his disquiet life as a piano virtuoso, his passionate love life, and the return to his catholic roots at the end of his life. Although all of this might be true, it only scratches the surface of his comprehensive musical personality. Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and organiser, but above all he was a composer of a voluminous, capricious body of work. Even though his piano works formed his core business, he gave rise to the symphonic poem, got rid of the organ's stuffy appearance, and reinvigorated the oratorio. Moreover, with his piano transciptions of Bach's organ works and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he was an advocate of both old and new music.
Together with his son-in-law Richard Wagner, he was in the forefront of the Romantic movement and anticipated the musical revolutions of the early 20th century with his new composition techniques.