Hometown: Paris, France
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Xavier Phillips was born in Paris in 1971. He begins to study the cello at the age of 6. At fifteen years, he enters the CNSM of Paris in Philippe Muller’s class and profits from an exceptional formation at the end which he obtains a First Price in 1989.
He wins several international prizes (Second Prize and Special Prize at musical Youths of Belgrade, Special Prize at the Tchaïkovski Competition in Moscow, Third Prize and Special Prize at the Rostropovitch Competition in Paris and First Prize by unanimous decision at the 1st Competition of Helsinki).
His meeting with Mstislav Rostropovitch, having particularly noticed him at the time of his competition, is determining and marks the beginning of a long collaboration during which Xavier Phillips improves near the Master.
He quickly was invited to perform on the largest international scenes with prestigious orchestras (Orchestre National de France, Philharmonique de Radio France, Berliner Symphoniker, Houston Symphony, BBC Scottish Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Filarmonica della Scala) on the invitation of famous conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Serge Baudo, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Ion Marin, Kazushi Ono, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Eliahu Inbal, Georges Prêtre, Vladimir Spivakov.
After his very brilliant debut with the Orchestre de Paris in September 2001, Mstislav Rostropovitch recognizes in him an achieved soloist with growing maturity. Then, he invites him to play under his baton the Prokofiev’s “Symphonia concertante” with the Washington National Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
It is still under the baton of his mentor Mstislav Rostropovitch, and less than one year after that Xavier Phillips makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovski’s Variations on a rococo theme. Carried by this confidence and the huge success gained at the time of his concerts in the United States, he is invited by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for several concerts under the conducting of Vassili Sinaïski.
In September 2006, he is the first soloist invited by the Orchestre de Paris for the reopening of the salle Pleyel and is distinguished in his interpretation of Henri Dutilleux’s “Tout un monde lointain”, in the presence of the composer.
His eclectic and varied discography is greeted by critics; he obtains a “Choc” decreed by the magazine Le Monde de la Musique for the following recordings: Kodaly (Harmonia Mundi/Lontano ) with his brother Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabedian, “Works for Cello & Orchestra “(Lalo, Fauré, Caplet at EMI - Classics), Sonates of Schnittke, Chostakovitch and Prokofiev with the pianist Hüseyin Sermet (Harmonia Mundi), as well as the Grand Prix du Disque for Alberic Magnard’s chamber music (Auvidis Valois).
Published in April 2007, “Armenia”, CD devoted to the Armenian music with Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian and Vahan Mardirossian at Warner Classics.
Xavier Phillips has appeared in the Schumann concerto with the Orchestre National de France under the conducting of Kurt Masur at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in February 2007 and will play with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in December 2007 and May 2008 under Marek Janowski, then in the Dvorak’s concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Günther Herbig.
Xavier Phillips plays on a Matteo Gofriller cello dated 1710, a loan from a sponsor, the coffee brand “Blue de Brazil”.