Harp Sylvain Blassel


French harpist Sylvain Blassel studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon with Fabrice Pierre, graduating at the top of his class with a special mention from the jury.

Before beginning a close collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2010 (playing under the baton of such prestigious conductors as Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Dudamel and participating with them in tours of Asia as well as in concerts at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals) Sylvain performed in orchestras including the Luxemburg Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de l'Opéra de Lyon, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National des Pays de Loire, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo with conductors including Michel Plasson, Ivan Fischer, Marek Janowsky, Louis Langrée, Kent Nagano and Tugan Sokiev, Emmanuel Krivine and Alain Lombard.


Passionate about period instruments, he has in his collection twenty harps, allowing an optimal choice regarding which instrument suits which repertoire which leads him to work closely with based directory and regularly leads to work with the Musiciens du Louvre -Grenoble under Marc Minkowski.


Parallel to his orchestral work, Sylvain has an active solo career performing at institutions such as the Bach Akademie in Stuttgart, the Beijing, Shanghai and Vancouver conservatories, the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris and at the Conservatoire Royal de Toronto where he performed in a special homage to Glenn Gould. His transcriptions of baroque pieces, originally for lute or harpsichord, by Bach, Weiss, Dowland, Scarlatti, Froberger and Visée are much appreciated and he also regularly performs his own transcriptions of works originally composed for the piano by Liszt (‘La Campanella’, Hungarian Rhapsodie) or Beethoven (Sonata no. 32 Op 111). In 2015 Sylvain will give the world premiere of his transcription of Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ.


Sylvain’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Warner Classics received praise from international press including the The Guardian, New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone Magazine:‘Blassel's is an exquisite reading: the Aria is played almost with a surfeit of warmth and delicacy, as if to impress the potential of its material upon the listener from the outset so as to allow a fuller savouring of the ensuing variations - which are all, without exception, played with a great feeling for overall architecture and interior expressiveness.)’ Sylvain teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and gives master classes at prestigious music schools all over the world, including the Juilliard School in New York, Musik Hochschule in Hamburg and Trinity College, London.