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Praised as “a marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times, French flutist MATHIEU DUFOUR is one of the most enchanting and breath-taking musicians of his generation. His golden sound and flawless technique have left audiences and fellow musicians in awe. At the age of 25, he was appointed Principal Flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Baremboim, making him one of the youngest players ever to hold such a position. Since then, he has performed numerous times as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, in the concertos of Devienne, Mozart, Ibert, Bach, Jolivet, and Nielsen. Under the direction of Daniel Baremboim, his performances of the Mozart Concerto in G at Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Bach Second Suite at the Philharmonie in Berlin earned him rave reviews. He has performed as soloist at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. One critic wrote of a performance “the ornate solo lines unfurled like yard upon yard of fine embroidered silk.”
As soloist, Dufour has performed with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Fabio Luisi, and Nicholas McGegan. In a recent performance of the Nielsen Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Throughout the concerto he confirmed his uncanny mastery of color and dynamics, filling the hall with a vibrant, crystalline sound.”
Dufour performs concertos and recitals every year in Japan. He has performed recitals in major halls in Tokyo and concertos with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Hiroshima Symphony.
As chamber musician, he has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida, Pinchas Zukerman, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Julia Fischer, Eric LeSage, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is also a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He has performed chamber music concerts in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York and at the Lucerne Festival, the Davos Festival in Switzerland, and the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada. He is in demand around the world as a recitalist, and has dazzled audiences in Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and South America. His recitals have been televised on the Mezzo French channel, and on Japanese television.
Dufour was born in Paris, and began his flute studies with Madeleine Chassang. He then studied with Maxence Larrieu at the Lyon Conservatory, where he was unanimously awarded first prize. He won second prize at the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition in 1990, third prize at the International Flute Competition in Budapest, 1991, and second prize at the International Flute Competition in Kobe, Japan in 1997. At the age of 20, he was appointed Principal Flute of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and three years later, became the Principal Flute of the Paris National Opera. He was also a member of the Juventus foundation.
Dufour is also highly in demand as a teacher, although his concertizing permits him time for very few students each year. He is passionate about teaching the young generation of musicians, and frequently gives masterclasses wherever he performs. He has taught many times at the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada. He is currently on faculty at DePaul University in Chicago.
Next season, Dufour will perform Dalbavie’s flute concerto with the Chicago Symphony in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Pierre Boulez.
Dufour’s discography includes a solo recital of sonatas by Prokofiev, Martinu, and Hindemith on Harmonia Mundi; Poulenc's complete chamber music on RCA/BMG; the complete works for flute by Roussel on Saphir Records; and the Molique Concerto with Czech National Orchestra on Cedille Records. Next year, he will release a CD of the fantasies for flute and piano by Taffanel, Faure, Doppler, Hüe, Gaubert, and Borne on Cedille Records.
In 2008, Dufour was appointed Principal Flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Esa-Pekka Salonen.