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Wrong René Martin?

René Martin

Founder and Director

La Roque d'Anthéron


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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

La Roque d'Anthéron

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Background Information

Employment History

Artistic Director

Festival International de Piano

Web References(26 Total References)

Testimonials [cached]

- René Martin, Director, International Piano Festival of La Roque d'Anthéron

"From a young age, it was my dream to organize concerts," said Rene Martin, the founder and director of the La Roque d'Antheron Festival, the producer of 1,200 other concerts around the world each year and an internationally powerful and influential figure in the world of musical performance and recordings.The hypnotic music was like a revelation to the young Martin, then 16, who wanted to understand what he heard and went to study at the conservatory for musical professions while also pursuing higher education in commerce and business administration.This combination helped him to achieve a dream and at age 22 he produced his first concert with renowned pianist Wilhelm Kempff.A year later he was organizing concerts for other celebrated pianists, such as Argentinian Martha Argerich and Russian Sviatoslav Richter, a legendary pianist whom he befriended and whose career he nurtured during the last decade of his life. After he was hired to organize the music scene near Aix-en-Provence, he met the mayor of La Roque d'Antheron and the idea for the festival began to germinate.Martin said he believes the piano recital is as viable a medium today as ever. "Why did 20 percent more visitors than the previous year arrive each year?Classical music has the greatest potential for an audience," Martin said."Anyone who hears Schubert's impromptu for piano once, regardless of who he is, will be affected by it for life.The only problem is that not everyone has access to classical music and I want to solve that." Martin's love of classical music and his belief that every person in the world can listen to it and enjoy it has not let up. "I was with my kids at a U2 rock concert and I thought 'Why don't so many people come to classic music performances?' I was sure that it's possible," Martin said."La Roque was already running and succeeding, but I want to move forward, to inject new blood into the concerts and to introduce classical music to people who had never heard it."Bringing in a new audience is the shared dream of every orchestra, festival and impresario in the world, but no one has found the formula to achieve it.Martin decided to crack this riddle. "In 1995 I established a classical festival in my hometown, Nantes, and I decided on three conditions that I wouldn't deviate from: to uproot the traditional formality of the concerts and transform them into fun events, enjoyable for all and choose a venue that was pleasant convenient for all; to limit the length of concerts to 45 minutes, instead of two hours; and to reduce the cost of tickets to a minimum and all of this as a backdrop to the underlying condition, which is uncompromising, perfect, professional musical quality."The result is unbelievable: the Festival (known as La Folle Journee, or the mad day, is taken from the name of the district on which Mozart based the opera, "The Marriage of Figaro") attracts huge crowds, more than half of whom have never attended a classical concert in their lives. "The success was such that I decided to export the festival to the world," said Martin with a smile and lists his international spread: "La Folle Journee" festivals in Lisbon; Bilbao, Spain; Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro."After Nantes, the festival simply wanders, every month, to a different city," he explains.In every city, tens ofthousands of people attend.A look at the figures from the tenth anniversary of the festival in Nantes two years ago sparks astonishment: around 300 concerts for a fee (starting at five euros per ticket) and dozens of free concerts; thousands of performers at nine different venues over five days from morning until nighttime; 120,000 visitors, 60 percent of them new to classical music, who came to the city from all over France."It's like a bustling airport passenger terminal," said Iddo Bar-Shai, 30, in a conversation at La Roque d'Antheron, describing the Folle Journee festival he participated in in Tokyo."Dozens of orchestras come and go; 1,000 performers, an audience that comes from vast distances and all in the spirit of Martin, expressing a love of music and enjoyment of it." Bar-Shai performed the night before at a recital of baroque music at the Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence.The recital followed a lecture beforehand on pictures from that period displayed there.Bar-Shai is a particular favorite of Martin's and participates in all the festivals he organizes and even merited a recommendation from him to the famous French artistic management agency, following which his international career has taken off. A tractor that appears among the trees in the park tows a long platform behind it.It is reminiscent of the kibbutz paths, perhaps Kfar Blum, where the Israeli version of the La Roque festival takes place.A large Steinway grand piano sits atop it and Martin waits for the tractor engine to die before he continues to explain how to produce a Folle Journee festival in cities around the world. "I'm like an architect; planning, drafting the schedule, arriving at the venue with a small team and guiding the local producers on how to realize the sketches, how to build them on the ground," Martin said.The question about holding a festival in Israel is inevitable and Martin shows great willingness but won't make any commitments.To Martin, the piano festival is not enough.He also organizes a series of liturgical concerts, a chamber festival and numerous other concerts. "They say it's an era of crisis for classical music and in order to save it we have to change our way of thinking in a fundamental way," he said.

Translation of article about Martha Argerich, from May 2001 issue of "Le Monde de la musique [cached]

René Martin, director of the French piano festival of La Roque d'Anthéron, declares "She can cancel and at that time, it's not a serious problem.
What moves me is that she always gives the genuine reasons for her cancellation. I understand her, because she lives under enormous pressure and I think she must feel very unhappy when she cancels. She has been known to play several times without fee; last year she phoned René Martin and asked him if she could join her friend Nelson Freire? "She never cheats," declares René Martin, "but she is sometimes forced to protect herself, because everybody wants to approach her. "The two sweetest and most approachable people I have met in my life were Sviatoslav Richter and Martha Argerich," says René Martin, "They both had, nonetheless, the reputation of being impossible."


- René Martin, Director, International Piano Festival of La Roque d'Anthéron

Chamber Music Northwest [cached]

(various locations in Provence, France) René Martin, Artistic Director

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