«We heard harpsichordist Richard Siegel, whose subtle lyricism and vibrant reserve captured the entire public. »
«Siegel showed melodic grace, rhythmic poise and a sort of sense of digital celebration that made his performance particularly thrilling. »
American harpsichordist born in 1949, Richard Siegel came to France in 1971 and entered the Paris National Conservatory. In 1975 he won the First Prize in Harpsichord and Figured Bass, and in 1976 a First Prize in Chamber Music.
In 1977, at the Paris International Harpsichord Competition, he was awarded the Prize in Figured Bass Realization.
While still at the Conservatory, he began playing with various ensembles including the Ensemble Instrumental de France, directed by Jean-Pierre Wallez. Shortly afterwards he became a member of the Andrée Colson Chamber Orchestra, then joined the Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra and was a member for some 25 years.
During a career spanning 45 years, he played over 2500 concerts, toured throughout Europe and the Far East many times, and accompanied soloists such as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maurice André and Philippe Pierlot. He has been to Japan over 20 times, both with the Paillard Orchestra and with flutist Shigenori Kudo.
At the same time, he co-founded the Ensemble Baroque Français, and was regularly invited to play with prestigious orchestras. In 1987 he recorded Henri Dutilleux’ Second Symphony with the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. He also interpreted many contemporary works, by Donatoni, Ortega, Schnittke, Ligeti and many others, notably with the Ensemble 2E2M.
Most recently he has played numerous concerts with the ensemble “Architecture et Musique”, and continues to play in France and in Japan.
His discography includes over 30 recordings. These include the complete Bach Sonatas for flute and harpsichord, the complete Brandenburg Concertos with the Paillard Orchestra, Michel Blavet’s Opus 2 Sonatas for flute and harpsichord with Philippe Pierlot, “Oeuvres pour Guitare et Clavecin” with Olivier Bensa, and “Trois chef-d'oeuvres pour le piano-forte”.
He was equally devoted to teaching: he was an assistant at the Paris National Conservatory for 10 years, and taught Figured Bass and Baroque Keyboard History at the Sorbonne. He was also Harpsichord Professor at the Municipal Conservatory in Choisy le Roi, and for 25 years at the National Regional Conservatory in St. Maur des Fossés.
His publications include a volume for Bordas; “La Musique au Temps de Bach”, an edition of Bach Flute Sonatas in Japan, and most importantly 4 volumes of a harpsichord method for Les Editions Alphonse Leduc, a method now widely used among young harpsichord students in France and in the world.
In 2002, he was awarded a “Fondation de France” Prize (Prix Charles Oulmont) honoring his career.
In his free time, he is studying Egyptology at the Institut d’Égyptologie Kheops, enjoys dark chocolate, and follows the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.