CRR du Grand Nancy
Currently piano and chamber music professor at the Regional Conservatoire in Nancy, French pianist Thomas Besnard studied at the Royal College of Music with Gordon Fergus-Thompson and later on with Caroline Palmer at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he gained his Masters. He then became Junior Fellow at the Guildhall School and has also received guidance from Eric Schneider in Berlin.
Thomas has made multiple appearances at the Barbican Centre in London, as part of the BBC Total Immersion Concert Series as well as for various pre-LSO performances. As a soloist and chamber musician he has played in many festivals, including Paxos in Greece, Cervantino in Mexico, Kammerfest Kosovo, Beijing Central Music Conservatory Chamber Music Festival, City of London, Leeds International Concert Series…
Thomas has worked extensively with the British clarinettist Hannah Morgan. Their recital at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists’ Concert series where they gave the world première of Harris Kittos’s Organic Duo was critically acclaimed and received a four-star rating in The Times. Together they won First prize in the Duo section in the Krakow international Chamber Music Competition.
With Lithuanian pianist Martyna Jatkauskaite, Thomas has formed the Oskar Duo. Together they won the first prize at the Rome International Piano Competition. Since then they have given many recitals in France and the UK and have recorded their first CD, dedicated to Schubert, Barber and Ravel.
Thomas’s interest in contemporary music has led him to work with many of today’s great composers: George Crumb, Hugh Wood, Louis Andriessen, Pascal Dusapin, Paul Patterson, John Metcalf, Joseph Horovitz, Haris Kittos, Emily Howard… Thomas has broadcast a number of times for BBC Radio 3, participating in two ‘Proms Plus’ concerts; he took part in the UK premiere of Andriessen’s Bells of Harleem and recorded Dusapin’s Trio Rombach in presence of the composers.
In 2014 he was hired by the Opéra National de Bordeaux as a repetiteur for the world premiere of La Lettre des sables, an opera by Christian Lauba. Whilst working there he gave a recital at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux with Mélissa Petit. He returned to the Opéra as a repetiteur for the French premiere of Nijinsky Tagebuch by D. Glanert and Tristan und Isolde. Most recently he appeared as a soloist with the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine in Takemitsu’s Quotation of Dream, under the baton of Yasuaki Ikatura, a concert broadcast by France Musique.
A multifaceted pianist, Thomas has been the pianist of Lied Ballet, dance piece by Thomas Lebrun. Lied Ballet was premiered at the Avigon Festival and toured all over France and China (Palais de Chaillot in Paris, Tours and Limoges Operas, Maison de la danse in Lyon, Macao Cultural Arts Centre, Hong Kong Arts Festival…)
He was then asked by Belgian choreographer Michèle Noiret – for whom Stockhausen wrote many dance solos- to appear in her piece Palimpsèste, based on the German composer’s Tierkreis. The piece is still touring today (Philharmonie de Lièges, Théâtre National de Bruxelles…)
Thomas has worked regularly as repetiteur and language coach at the Opéra de Limoges, where he will return in 2020 for a production of Ravel’s Enfant et les Sortilèges.