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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Ousset, Cecile

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Cecile Ousset (b1936)


As a child, Ousset studied with Marcel Ciampi at the Paris Conservatoire where she obtained a premier prix at the age of fourteen. Of Ciampi’s teaching Ousset has said, ‘My training was Russian rather than French based. Ciampi’s method was modelled on Anton Rubinstein’s, with emphasis on strong fingers but free shoulders for optimum precision and power. I went to him aged eight with bent fingers in the classic French style. He was horrified…’.

Three years after winning her premier prix Ousset won the first of her many competition prizes at the Claire Pagès Competition. Her placing of fourth at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition led disgruntled jury member Arthur Rubinstein to arrange some early recitals in Paris for Ousset, where she made her professional debut at the Salle Gaveau. At the Geneva Competition and the Busoni Competition Ousset was co-winner of the second prize where no first prize was given. Although she then performed with many French orchestras, it was not until the early 1980s that Ousset’s career really took off. The turning point was at the 1980 Edinburgh Festival where she replaced an indisposed Martha Argerich at short notice. After this, Ousset was in continual demand worldwide.

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