Martin Gester (FR) — Harpsichord & organ

With an education in literature as well as music, both instrumental and vocal, and a passion for history and attentive to oral traditions, to the art of dancing and to the theatre, Martin Gester strives to reestablish the interrelationships that modern usage have disconnected, renewing, in his own way, the ideals of the Baroque musician: open, manysided and humanist.

After completing his studies (organ, harpsichord, composition) at the Conservatory and the University of Strasbourg and gleaning experiences from travelling, he founded in 1990 Le Parlement de Musique, an ensemble that is inventive, discovering and malleable, situated at the crossroads of the Baroque and Classical styles and of concert and stage, and also preoccupied with detecting new talents for collaborating with the established artists. He also conducts other ensembles and orchestras, baroque and sometimes symphonic. A very particular collaboration was established in 1998 with the Polish baroque orchestra Arte dei Suonatori; their recording of Händel’s 12 Concerti Grossi op. 6 for BIS (Sweden) has been acclaimed (BBC, Toccata Alte Musik Aktuell, Diapason etc.) as one of the “reference versions”. But Martin Gester also enjoys the intimacy of the keyboards, often surrounded by a circle of selected musicians for Monteverdi madrigals, for Couperin’s motets and Concerts Royeaux, or for chamber music by Bach, Haydn and Mozart.

Martin Gester teaches the interpretation of the baroque repertoire for instrumentalists – especially for harpsichord, organ on historical instruments and the pianoforte – and for singers at the Strasbourg Conservatory and at L’Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg. He is the founder of the opera atelier Génération Baroque where young singers and instrumentalists can collect their first professionel experiences while starting an international career.

Martin Gester has been appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his direction of Le Parlement de Musique, and awarded the Order of Merit by the Polish Minister of Culture for his work with Arte dei Suonatori.

Teaching languages: DE, FR, EN, ES, IT.