In co-production with the Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret – Paris

General presentation | Teacher : Alain Planès and Ralph van Raat | Trainees | Method | Inscription | Schedule


Although relatively recent in conception, the piano is considered a major instrument in our society. Its role was affirmed in the 19th century, thanks to the work of instrument makers, who competed in innovation and technical prowess. So much so that the modern piano, stabilised since the middle of the 20th century, has changed a lot in a short time. To be a pianist today may mean wanting to play only the most modern version of the instrument, but it may also mean being interested in the older versions of the instrument. The revival and rediscovery of fortepianos has in fact revealed what an increasingly massive construction, designed to fill ever larger halls, may have left out of the finesse of instrumental playing, phrasing and articulation, which are easier to achieve on older pianos, especially in the eighteenth-century repertoire. This course is aimed in particular, but not exclusively, at pianists who play both instruments and both repertoires, and will be nourished in particular by the exploration of the collections of pianists held in the Royaumont Libraries – the François Lang collection (François Lang Music Library – Royaumont); the Alfred Cortot and Claude Helffer collections (Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret – Paris).

The repertoire covered is very vast, with Haydn and Ligeti as central figures; but this repertoire is not exclusive and it will be open to both older and more recent works: from Byrd to Schubert, via Wilhem Friedmann Bach or Mozart. Baroque, pre-classical and classical works will be played on a pianoforte after A. Walter around 1792 and supervised by the two teachers. In addition, the course is open to the most contemporary repertoires, including the classics of the 20th century (Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti). The instructors, Alain Planès and Ralph van Raat, were chosen for their versatility, both in terms of repertoire and in their mastery of the various instruments and their particularities.


Alain Planès, pianist (France)

* 2021 : Orsay-Royaumont Academy
* 2012 : Training session Autour du manuscrit des Etudes (1915) de Claude Debussy. Concert Debussy, les Etudes et autres pièces.

Alain Planès studied at the Lyon Conservatory before entering the Paris Conservatory in the class of Jean Doyen and Jacques Février for chamber music. He then went to Indiana University in Bloomington, where he benefited from the teaching of Menahem Pressler, of whom he became assistant, and of György Sebök, Janos Starker, Franco Gulli and William Primrose. Together with György Sebök, he was the partner of Janos Starker and toured with him in the United States and Europe. In 1979, Rudolf Serkin invited him for the first time to the Marlboro Festival, where he became one of the young seniors. On his return to France, Alain Planès became solo pianist with the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the request of Pierre Boulez, then, from 1981, pursued a career as a soloist and chamber musician which took him to the greatest festivals (Aix-en-Provence, Montreux, La Roque d’Anthéron, Folle Journée de Nantes, Piano aux Jacobins, Marlboro…). He has performed with Alain Meunier, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Michel Portal, Gérard Caussé, Stéphane Degout and many others. Alain Planès has recorded for Harmonia Mundi a complete set of Schubert sonatas and a complete set of Debussy’s works for solo piano, as well as discs devoted to Chopin, Chabrier, Janacek, Bartok, Haydn and Scarlatti. Alain Planès has always had a passion for early instruments, and has played and recorded Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, etc. on 18th and 19th century fortepianos. He is currently preparing a complete set of Beethoven sonatas on historical instruments, filmed by the director Solrey, who has also devoted the documentary Alain Planès, l’infini turbulent to him. In June 2021 he has just released a CD of Frédéric Chopin: Complete Nocturnes on harmonia mundi.

* Past collaboration with Royaumont

Ralph van Raat, pianist (Netherlands)

Born in 1978, Dutch pianist and musicologist Ralph Van Raat performs in recital in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. Always keen to enrich the traditional corpus of piano works, he is particularly interested in interpreting the contemporary classical repertoire. He has worked closely with composers such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Gavin Bryars, Jonathan Harvey, Tan Dun, György Kurtág, Magnus Lindberg, Arvo Pärt, Frederic Rzewski and Sir John Tavener, many of whom have dedicated compositions and piano concertos to him. Ralph Van Raat is a regular soloist with orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra. His career is marked by collaborations with conductors Tan Dun, Valery Gergiev, JoAnn Falletta, David Robertson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Susanna Mälkki, Stefan Asbury, Michel Tabachnik and John Adams. As a soloist, he can be heard at festivals such as the Gergiev Festival, the BBC Proms in London, the Besançon Festival, the Holland Festival, Time of Music in Viitasaari, Finland, the Huddersfield Festival, the Berliner Festspiele, the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Tanglewood. He was also given his own series of concerts at the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam and at De Doelen in Rotterdam. He signed an exclusive contract with Naxos in December 2006. His first recording for the label – the complete piano works of John Adams – is ranked top by many magazines, and his recording of Arvo Pärt’s piano compositions is rated 5/5 by the BBC Music Magazine. Naxos released a boxed set of his works in 2009 and a second boxed set in 2017. Ralph Van Raat teaches the interpretation of contemporary piano repertoire at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He regularly gives master classes, lectures and workshops at the conservatories in Tirana, Nizhny Novgorod and Kiev, at the Ligeti Academy of the ASKO|Schönberg Ensemble and at numerous foundations and universities. He is a member of the jury of the Concours International d’Orléans in 2018 and was invited to give a master class at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. Ralph Van Raat is a Steinway artist. In 2020, his thirtieth CD (Naxos) – featuring a repertoire of rare works by Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, and the world premiere recording of an early work by Boulez – received critical acclaim.

More about Ralph van Raat :


6 pianists
Young professionnal artists or those in the final stages of their studies


Before the training, by videoconference :

  • Contact with the group: presentation of the speakers and the participants in the training, reminder of the objectives and procedures.

At the time of the training :

  • Daily individual lessons, group sessions and sharing of knowledge and feelings;
  • Visit to the Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret – Paris and its collections;
  • Public presentation at the end of the course;
  • One or two pianists will be selected among the participants to give a concert on 6 March 2022 at the Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret – Paris.

Comment s’inscrire

Selection by dossier

Elements to be provided :

  • Biography
  • CV
  • Covering letter: highlighting skills and qualities, personal project, reasons for wanting to take part in the course
  • Photo
  • Several video links with musical extracts, illustrating repertoires of different styles and periods – good sound quality is essential.

Application deadline: 20 January 2022

Results: end of January 2022


From 28 February to 5 March 2022
6 days of training – 42h

Public presentations :
Fenêtre sur cour[s], with the participants and the speakers, on Saturday 5 March 2022 at 6 pm, at Royaumont.
Concert, with one or two selected pianists, on Sunday 6 March 2022, at the Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret – Paris.

This professional training workshop is supported by the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, la SACEM, Aéroports de Paris and les Amis de Royaumont.
In co-production with la Bibliothèque musicale La Grange-Fleuret. EY is a major sponsor of the BLGF.