Cellist Raphaël Pidoux proclaims himself an ambassador of the French school of cello, and he has lived up to the claim with strong involvement in the musical lives of young people. He has been successful both as a chamber player with the Trio Wanderer, which he co-founded, and as a soloist.
Pidoux was born August 9, 1967, in Paris. His father, Roland Pidoux, was a cellist and conductor (and also a chamber player) who gave his son his first lessons. Pidoux attended the Paris Conservatory (the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris) studying with Philippe Müller, and on graduating in 1987 he won his class' first prize. He went on to complete a well-rounded education as a cellist, studying Baroque music with Christophe Coin, chamber music with members of the Amadeus Quartet at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany, and mainstream cello repertory with Janos Starker at the University of Indiana in the U.S. Along the way he won other awards: the Leipzig International Bach Competition in 1988, and, in 1990, the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in the U.S. with the Trio Wanderer, which he had co-founded in 1987. Pidoux has continued to perform and record extensively with that group, winning Victoires de la musique classique awards with the trio in 1997, 2000, and 2008. As a soloist he has performed with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Sinfonia Varsovia, and the Baroque Ensemble of Limoges, among other groups, working with prestigious collaborators including baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and violist Antoine Tamestit. Pidoux has been especially influential as an educator. Beginning in the late 2000s he taught for seven years at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris, known as the CRR. Then, in 2014, he succeeded his teacher Müller as professor of cello at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris. Pidoux has recorded for the Integral, Timpani, and Mirare labels, issuing an album of concertos by the Classical-era, French composer Jean-Louis Duport on the latter label in 2019. He is co-director of the Prometheus 21 ensemble, and in 2010 he founded the Association Talents & Violincelles, which aims to put good-quality cellos in the hands of students who otherwise could not afford them.