Hélène Grimaud – A Pioneering Career in Classical Music and Beyond

Helene Grimaud pic
Helene Grimaud
Image: helenegrimaud.com

As Universal Music Group’s classics and jazz division president, Christopher (Chris) Roberts spearheaded efforts to increase the relevance of classical music to a contemporary audience. Christopher Roberts’ role with Universal Music Group included managing a roster of popular Deutsche Grammophon artists, such as Elina Garanca and Hélène Grimaud.

Known for her bold interpretive approach to piano, Hélène Grimaud was originally from Aix-en-Provence in France and entered the Conservatoire de Paris at age 13. She had her debut recital in Tokyo in the late 1980s and debuted with the Claudio Abbado-directed Berliner Philharmoniker in 1995. Her recordings over the years have challenged listeners, with her well-received 2010 release Resonances featuring the works of composers such as Béla Bartók and Alban Berg.

Grimaud’s 2016 live recording Water broke new ground in featuring nine diverse composers, from Claude Debussy to Toru Takemitsu. The recording was produced by UK-based Nitin Sawhney, who composed seven short transitional pieces placed between the classical songs. One of the aspects of Grimaud that appeals to listeners is her multifaceted approach to art. Her activities encompasses several authored books and a role as founder of the nonprofit Wolf Conservation Center.


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