© P. Gontier

Belmont Prize 2001
for Contemporary Music

Florent Boffard

Pianist in Paris


Statement from the Board of Trustees

The Board admires his courage in tackling things that are difficult and intractable, and his talent for coaxing the secret from the hidden ambitions of a piece of music and reinventing it. It is this interpretation – this “second life” – that allows the piece to become a work of art and wrests it from the clutches of simple consumerism.

"A young man stepped onto the concert platform, his suit slightly too tight, his pale face lit by an unforced smile. His large hands, soon to dig deep into the keys, did not necessarily fit my image of a soloist from the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Two or three steps to the piano, and the artist took over from the very first attack. Nothing self-important or postured, nothing stiff, let alone rigid. ... His clearly structured playing and pronounced sense of counterpoint are in turn an expression of a deep-seated understanding of the piece of music and of great discipline in his working methods. His ample and richly hued sound is additional proof of his sensitive and accurate ear."
From the laudatory address by Hervé Boutry