Helene Grimaud is considered to be quite unique and the most cerebral among today's generation of classical pianists. Besides her extraordinary talent, what sets her apart from her peers is her intriguing devotion to thewolves.
She grew up in Aix-en-Provence in southern France. As a young child she was very unpredictable and agitated much to the concern of her parents and teachers. However at the age of six, Helene heard for the first time a piece by the famous composer, Schumann and it was as if everything fell into place. Thus began her life where music became the central focus of her life. At age 13 she became the youngest student at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris. However not quite 5 years later feeling bored and stifled by the school's clockword methods, she left the school and set out to forge her own path in music.
She worked mostly in solitude but at times enrolled in classes with the masters such as American pianist Lean Fleisher and Cuban expatriate, Jorge Bolet who described her as a talent of extraordinary quality and sensibility of temperament that is rarely encountered. From then on there was no stopping her as she had found her own system and soon became a global star. She has played in concerts with the world's greatest orchestras and conductors, recitals in great halls and has received many awards.
Helene has been described as a "philosopher at the piano" and the mystic in her shows up as her performance becomes both an aural feast and the spiritual experience that music has always been for her.
But there is another side to Helene and that is her love of wolves. She moved to America and founded the Wolf Conservation Center just outside of New York City. This center is used to educate people about the truth of the wolves and to let them observe them up close. To Helene, the preservation of the wolves, a species she believes has been falsely demonized through the ages, is a calling as important to her as her music. Her music and her wolves are the two important aspects of her life from which she has found the spiritual center that has made her the great artist she is today. Helene also gives performances to benefit the wolves from around the country.
To learn more about Helene Grimaud you can read her fascinating autobiography.