Raphaël Pichon began his musical training studying singing, violin and piano at the Paris conservatoires CNSMDP and CRR. As a young countertenor he sang under conductors such as Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and Geoffroy Jourdain. In 2006 he founded Pygmalion, consisting of a choir and an orchestra performing on period instruments. He quickly attracted international attention with a series of special projects, among them Bach’s Missae breves, Rameau’s tragédies lyriques, Mozart rarities and explorations of the Romantic repertory. Raphaël Pichon has appeared with his ensemble at venues such as the Philharmonie de Paris, the Château de Versailles, Bozar in Brussels, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and at the Salzburg Festival, the BBC Proms, the French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong and the Beijing Music Festival. As an opera conductor he has appeared at the Opéra Comique in Paris, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and the Opéra National de Bordeaux.
His most important projects in the last decade have included his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with the production Trauernacht with music by Bach (directed by Katie Mitchell), the rediscovery of Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo at the Opéra national de Lorraine and the Opéra Royal de Versailles, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine at the Holland Festival, the BBC Proms, the Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles and at the Leipzig Bach Festival, cycles of Bach cantatas, along with Bach’s motets and the Mass in B minor at the Philharmonie de Paris, and Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem in the Submarine Base in Bordeaux. He has also conducted Die Zauberflöte, Mozart’s Requiem in a staging by Romeo Castellucci and, in 2022, Idomeneo at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Miranda (with music by Purcell), Berlioz’s arrangement of Orphée et Eurydice, Hippolyte et Aricie and Fidelio at the Opéra Comique.
Raphaël Pichon made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2018 in a Mozart matinee with the Mozarteum Orchestra. As a guest conductor he has also worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Zurich Opera House’s Orchestra La Scintilla and Les Violons du Roy in Québec. Since 2021 he has worked regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.
In the 2022/23 season he returned with Pygmalion to the Opéra Comique with Lakmé, and conducted L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, the three-part concert cycle Routes to Bach, a programme dedicated to Schubert, Schubert and Weber (Mein Traum) with the baritone Stéphane Degout and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang.
Since 2014 Raphaël Pichon has been an exclusive artist with harmonia mundi. His recordings have received the highest critical acclaim. Most recently he has released a CD of Bach motets, the St Matthew Passion, a Bach and Handel album with the soprano Sabine Devieilhe (for Erato) and Mein Traum with Stéphane Degout. Raphaël Pichon is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.