Having just received the first prize at the Finale Ligure International Festival, Éric Picard became principal cello at the Orchestre de Paris at the age of 23. He upheld this position to this day, while at the same time serving as principal cello of the World Orchestra for seven years. Moreover, having a particular affinity with the contemporary repertoire, he is currently pursuing an international career as a soloist and chamber musician.
As a soloist, Éric Picard has performed in Serbia (Belgrade, Novi Sad), Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Japan (Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Osaka, Nagano), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Hamburg (Musikhalle)... In the Salle Pleyel in Paris, among others, he has played Caplet’s Epiphanie, Schumann’s Concerto, Bloch’s Schelomo, Messiaen’s La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (together with Yvonne Loriod), Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso (French premiere), Strauss’s Don Quixote and Boulez’ Messagesquisse.
For these performances, conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, Wolfgang Sawallish, Marc Soustrot, Marco Parisotto, Christoph Eschenbach, Kent Nagano, Paavo Järvi and Pierre Boulez, he has been unanimously applauded in the press (“a musician with a confident and personal taste, playing generously yet never excessively” translated from Le Monde).
Éric Picard is a member of the Hoboken piano trio and the string trio 71, and has collaborated with acclaimed musicians such as Christoph Eschenbach, Menahem Pressler, Hae Sun Kang, Victoria Mullova, Dietrich Henschel and Xu Zhong.
In 2002 he founded the Ensemble Diabolicus. Wanting to reflect upon the traditional form of a musical concert, and searching for collaborators eager to engage fully in its creational process, he has worked with composers such as Luis Naon, Martin Matalon, Bruno Mantovani, Philippe Hersant, and Marc André Dalbavie, who created a cello-piece for him in 2008. In 2010, he conceptualised and developed “Un Certain Parcours”, a project revolving around the life and work of Pierre Boulez, which was shown on national French television.
Éric Picard has recorded the trios of Gabriel Fauré and Vincent d’Indy, Xenakis’s N’shima (Grand prix from the Académie Charles Cros), À nos Amours (Ambroisie) with the singer Dietrich Henschel, and Rapsodie Espagnole (Anima Records, 2013) together with his Hoboken trio partners. His Virgin Classics recording of Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie accompanied by the Orchestre de Paris has been received internationally with much enthusiasm.
Having studied at the CNSM in Paris with Maurice Gendron and Philippe Muller, Éric Picard pursued his troisième cycle after obtaining the premiers prix in cello and chamber music. During this time, he collaborated with Paul Tortelier, Natalia Chakovskaîa, Janos Starker, Boris Pergamenchikov and Siegfried Palm.
Always dedicated to making classical music accessible to a wider audience, he has let many young Parisians discover music by presenting John Adams’ Century Rolls with Emmanuel Ax and Christoph Dohnanyi, and later Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique with Christoph Eschenbach at the Cité de la Musique. Éric Picard is presently teaching at the CNSMDP and the CRR in the context of the Académie de l’Orchestre, and is a professor of cello at the Pôle d’enseignement supérieur Bordeaux Aquitaine.