Biography

Pianist Jeffrey Grice was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. A student of Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer at Auckland University (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music), in 1976 he was awarded a Queen Elisabeth Arts Council grant and a French government bursary to study in France with Yvonne Loriod and Germaine Mounier, obtaining in 1978 a Licence de Concert from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Musique de Paris. In 1979, he moved to Israel for a year to consolidate repertoire with Enrique Barenboim. Other formative influence was to come from the guidance of American pianist Charles Rosen and the coaching of Argentinian-born pianist Florencia Raitzin-Legrand.

A Laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the Cziffra Foundation, and the Sophia-Antipolis Foundation, in 1999, Jeffrey Grice was made an “Officer of Arts and Letters” (Officier des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Government for services in the field of music.

Jeffrey Grice has recorded in Europe for the labels Calliope, Erato, Integral Classic and Blumlein, in Japan for Sony Classical, Cosmo Village and JVC, and in New Zealand for Waiteata, a discography featuring works by some forty different composers.

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In 1996, “Golden Performance”, a recording for Cosmo Village of his solo recital (Brahms, Berg and Bartok) in Nagoya’s prestigious Shirakawa Hall was chosen “Best Recording” by Stereo Magazine, Japan and reviewed in the USA by John Sunier as “one of the most impressive piano recordings I have ever heard”. In 2004, Stereo Magazine again chose as “Best Recording” his Sony Classical album with flautist Shigenori Kudo of 20th century French flute/piano repertoire (Poulenc, Dutilleux, Gallois-Montbrun). In 2002, his Liszt CD (Integral Classic) was voted “Best Sound Recording” by the French magazine Repertoire. William Dart hailed his recording of the first seven Tone Clock Pieces of Jenny McLeod (The Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music) as “incandescent”.

Grice has performed under conductors like Armin Jordan, Michiyoshi Inoue, Wolfgang Doerner, Donald Johanos, Victor Puhl, Amaury du Closel and with artists like Anne Sophie von Otter, Maria Bayo, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Anne Gastinel, Henri Demarquette, Alexander Markov, Sergei Leiferkus, Laurent Cabasso, Jean-Marie Trotereau, Shigenori Kudo, Bertrand Walter, the Anton Quartet, the Trio Sibelius. He has given concerts in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, England, the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Laos, Abu Dhabi, Malta, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Uganda, Rumania and Canada.

Grice’s career had a stage and movie sideline. After a first brief appearance in the 1979 5-part television serial Les Dames de la Côte by Nina Companeez, he then played (though as an actor) in the 1991 prize-winning French film Un Coeur en hiver (A Heart in Winter) by Claude Sautet, appearing alongside Emmanuelle Béart and Daniel Auteuil.

Through imaginative ways of juxtaposing different works from the repertoire, the Between Two Worlds formula, the French Connections project, Grice works for a new kind of listening,  encouraging many contemporary composers to write for him. He has premiered contemporary works by composers from New Zealand (Jenny McLeod, Nigel Keay, Lucien Johnson), Japan (Karen Tanaka) and France (David Chaillou, Kirill Zaborov).

In 2013, Jeffrey Grice and rock ‘n roll guitarist Joachim Schjelbred launched an original crossover project called BTW2, constructed of raw, entirely untreated and improvised takes.

Grice was invited two years in succession (2015 and 2016) to participate in the Alpine Fellowship at the Giorgio Cini Foundation on the island of Giorgio Maggior in Venice, an ambitious project uniting authors, poets, philosophers, scientists, art historians, painters and musicians from all over the world.

On March 7, 2017, the 142nd birthday of Ravel, he performs a Between Two Worlds recital in Paris, co-produced by Les Amis de Maurice Ravel and the cinema Le Balzac, to celebrate the diverse influence and legacy of Ravel to composers of the last 100 years. The programme features Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel (completed in 1917), extracts from the Gershwin Songbook, the first performance in France of the tryptych Hommage a Ravel (1925) by Greek composer Emilios Riadis, 3 Preludes op 4 (1953) by Swiss composer Julien-Francois Zbinden (who will be turning 100 in 2017) and the world premiere of Addis Nocturnes (2016) by New Zealand composer Lucien Johnson. The concert will be preceded by a 1967 film by Paul Danblon entitled A la recherche de Maurice Ravel and a round table discussion given by eminent Ravel specialists.

JEFFREY GRICE, né à Christchurch, en Nouvelle-Zélande. De double nationalité, française et néo-zélandaise, il vit à Paris depuis 1976. Pianiste de concert maintes fois salué par la presse française et internationale, Jeffrey  a joué dans une quarantaine de pays.

Diplômé de l’université d’Auckland,  il obtient la Licence de Concert de l’Ecole Normale Supérieur de Musique dans la classe de Germaine Mounier. Puis il rencontre Enrique Barenboim, auprès de qui il passera deux années en Israël. Il suit également les conseils du pianiste américain Charles Rosen et de la pianiste argentine Florencia Raitzin.

Lauréat de la fondation Yehudi Menuhin, de la fondation Cziffra et de la fondation Sophia-Antipolis, Jeffrey développe sa carrière sur plusieurs registres : le récital, la musique de chambre, la création d’œuvres contemporains, le concerto avec orchestre. Il a enregistré en Europe pour CALLIOPE, ERATO, BLUMLEIN et INTEGRAL CLASSIC, au Japon pour SONY CLASSICAL, COSMO VILLAGE et JVC, et en Nouvelle-Zélande pour WAITEATA.

Prix de l’Académie du disque français en 1984, il a été décoré comme officier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres en 1999.

Jeffrey Grice a aussi tourné pour le cinéma et la télévision dans des films dont certains sont devenus des classiques comme Un cœur en hiver de Claude Sautet ou Les dames de la côte  de Nina Companeez.

Depuis plusieurs années, Jeffrey propose une formule de récital,  Between Two Worlds – A la croisée des continents, qui présente  des compositeurs actuels, souvent inconnus du grand public, juxtaposés avec ceux d’autres époques.