“Pure music (…) Xavier de Maistre is a virtuoso of the highest level, with deep musicality and an incredible range of nuances.” Gramophone
Born in Toulon, Xavier de Maistre received his harp training with Vassilia Briano at the Conservatory of his hometown before improving with Catherine Michel and Jacqueline Borot in Paris. At the same time, he studied at Sciences-Po Paris and then at the London School of Economics. In 1998, he won the first prize and two interpretive prizes of the most prestigious harp competition: the U.S.A International Harp Competition (Bloomington), and in the same year he became the first French musician admitted to the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic.
Xavier de Maistre performs as a soloist with the greatest orchestras under the direction of conductors such as Sir André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, Philippe Jordan, Kristjan Järvi, Bertrand de Billy, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Heinrich Schiff Gilbert Varga.
He is the guest of the biggest festivals: Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, Rheingau Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Verbier Festival, Budapest Spring and Würzburg Mozartfest. Passionate about chamber music, he performs with Diana Damrau, Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Müller-Schott, Baiba Skride, Antoine Tamestit, Mojca Erdmann and Magali Mosnier.
In France, he performs regularly with the Orchester de Paris, the Orchester National de France, the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Monte Carlo, Nancy. And in recital in the biggest rooms: Opera Garnier, Auditorium of Bordeaux, Nice, Poitiers, Theater of Avignon, Opera of Lille …
In residence with the Cologne WDR Symphony Orchestra last season, the 2015-2016 season opens with prestigious projects: world premiere of the Penderecki harp concerto with the Orchester de Paris at the new Philharmonie, followed by English Premier (London Philharmonic Orchestra) and Scandinavian (National Symphony Orchestra of Denmark). These will include engagements with the Tempere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland, the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Austria, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the National Orchestra of Spain, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra directed by Riccardo Muti.
He records exclusively under the label Sony Music since 2008. For his first CD “Night of Stars” dedicated to Claude Debussy, he will be awarded the Echo Klassik Award in the category “Instrumentist of the Year”. Follow “Homage to Haydn” (2009) with the Viennese Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bertrand de Billy and “Aranjuez” (2010). The disc “Notte Veneziana”, recorded with the ensemble Arte del Mondo and dedicated to large baroque pieces, was released in March 2012 and is critically acclaimed. It ranks in the top-10 sales of classical music in France and Germany. In 2013 a DVD with Diana Damrau and a recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerto KV459 transcribed for the harp, with the Mozarteum Salzburg under the direction of Ivor Bolton, appear. In the spring of 2015 appears “Moldau”, set of works for harp alone devoted to the repetitive Slav, acclaimed by critics.
Since 2001 Xavier de Maistre is a professor at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg and regularly gives masterclasses at the Julliard School in New York, Toho University in Tokyo and Trinity College in London.
Xavier de Maistre plays on a Lyon-Healy harp.