Xavier de Maistre

Debut with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra: 01 January 2024

Infinite finesse and much delicacy

Xavier de Maistre is one of today’s leading harpists and a highly creative musician. A passionate advocate of his instrument, he has expanded the harp repertoire and commissioned new works from composers. He also creates transcriptions of important instrumental works.


This musical vision has led him to collaborate with conductors such as Sir André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, Philippe Jordan, James Gaffigan, Bertrand de Billy, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Daniel Harding, Susanna Mälkki and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. He has been invited by orchestras such as the Chicago, Montreal, City of Birmingham, NHK, Swedish and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Los Angeles, London, St. Petersburg, Oslo and China, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In his native France, he has worked with the Orchestre de Paris, the National Orchestras of France and Lyon, the philharmonic orchestras of Radio France, Monte-Carlo, Montpellier, Lille and Nancy, and has given concerts in the opera houses of Paris and Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Poitiers and Avignon, among others.

In parallel with his orchestral concerts, Xavier is passionate about chamber music and regularly puts together original recital projects. In 2020, he began a new collaboration with tenor Rolando Villazón, with whom he is recording a project of South American folk songs for Deutsche Grammophon. In recent years he collaborated with flamenco and castanet legend Lucero Tena on a program of Spanish repertoire, with which he toured Europe, Japan and China and released an album (Sony Classical, 2018). He has been “in residence” at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival since summer 2020. As a soloist, he has appeared at many high-profile festivals, including Rheingau, Salzburg Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Verbier, Budapest Spring, Würzburg Mozartfest, and Mostly Mozart in New York. He also works regularly with Diana Damrau, Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Müller-Schott, Baiba Skride, Antoine Tamestit, Mojca Erdmann and Magali Mosnier.

In the 2022/23 season, Xavier will tour with the Orchestre National de France in Germany and Austria under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru to perform Reinhold Glière’s famous Harp Concerto on the occasion of the release of his new album. He also performs with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Paris Chamber Orchestra and at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg. Xavier de Maistre also performs in solo concerts, including at the Berlin State Opera, in duo with Rolando Villazón at the Frankfurt State Opera and the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and in duo with Diana Damrau at La Fenice in Venice.

Since 2008, Xavier has been an exclusive artist with Sony Music, where he recorded his first album dedicated to Debussy, Nuit d’Etoiles. Other releases have included Hommage à Haydn (2009), Aranjuez (2010) and Notte Veneziana (2012), featuring significant baroque repertoire, Moldau (2015), solo harp pieces by Slavic composers, and La Harpe Reine (2016) with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie. His album Christmas Harp (October 2021) includes paraphrases and fantasies of famous Christmas carols, as well as melodies by Schubert and Tchaikovsky. In the fall of 2022, his last CD dedicated to Russian music will be released, featuring the famous harp concerto by Reinhold Glière and the forgotten concerto by Alexander Mosolov, accompanied by the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann.

Born in Toulon, Xavier studied harp with Vassilia Briano at the conservatory there before perfecting his technique with Catherine Michel and Jacqueline Borot in Paris. He also studied at Sciences-Po Paris and then at the London School of Economics. In 1998, he won first prize (and two interpretive prizes) at the prestigious USA International Harp Competition (Bloomington) and in the same year became the first French musician to join the Vienna Philharmonic.

Since 2001 he has been teaching at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg.

He plays on a Lyon & Healy instrument.

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