Born: April 26, 1967 Primary Instrument: Guitar, acoustic
THE NEW LORD OF THE STRING - Los Angeles Time Philippe Bertaud is referred by Los Angeles Times as “the New Lord of the Strings” gifted by “a percussive brand of guitarist wizardry” according to Jazziz Magazine.
Philippe Bertaud's multi-faceted career is a testament to his continual search for new ways to achieve artistic growth and renewal. Carried on by his versatility Philippe always evolves his expression according to his artistic aims and eclectic tastes, which directs him toward international development as an outstanding guitar performer, talented composer, and recognized master guitar teacher. First renowned for his dazzling guitar technique and powerful interpretation as a classical guitar player, Philippe then needed to create his own music and also share his passion and experience through teaching. He is now able to focus his career more fully on these goals.
In his shows in Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada or in Europe, Philippe Bertaud brings his audience a touch of French refinement topped with warm Latin character. Each concert is a delightful cultural journey where everyone enjoys the superior quality of his playing, unique expressions and captivating speech. From Handel to Leo Brouwer, from Asia to Latin America, Philippe strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination. He composes music using new technologies as well as remaining true to his acoustic origins. At Philippe’s request, B-Band built a stereo pickup system which increases the richness of his Kenny Hill guitar. Philippe’s music is further enhanced through the use of an Aphex “Acoustic Exciter, which helps give the deep and colorful live sound that matches his playing.
As an accomplished musician, Philippe loves to share his guitar expertise through his commitment to educational programs. These help to not only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation. While touring, he takes time whenever possible to conduct master classes as well as more informal programs for students-musicians and non-musicians alike.
Philippe knows that music is a gift. In fact, he started playing the guitar by chance at the age of fourteen while living in the south of France•changing his original plan to become a shepherd. He then began classical and jazz guitar training at the National Conservatory of Nice. There he studied the art of harmony and composition under acclaimed composer Jacques Charpentier and received afterward many musical awards. At just sixteen, he achieved success in early recitals, made his first recording “le Sud” (produced by Kiss FM Cote d’Azur), and started touring in Germany. Philippe then recorded Recital, a kind of musical history of guitar from XVI to XX Centuries; a nod to his classical European heritage.
After a long honeymoon journey in Asia and the birth of his daughter Jade, Philippe began writing his own pieces; mixing his classical background with Asian sonorities, Brazilian rhythms and Jazz improvisation. It is a birth of a new style he calls “Classic Fusion.” In the following months he recorded his first composition album, “Je vous ecris d’un pays lointain…” accompanied by a jazz quartet. Later, Philippe combined visual art and music improvisation by working with Chinese watercolor painter Fujitsang, offering his audience a unique moment of creation while touring in France.
The Montreal Jazz Festival is the start of his 1999 solo tour in Canada where he is acclaimed by a cheerful public and critics. Canadian guitar company, Godin tapped Philippe to endorse its brand. Whether performing in small theatres, in festivals or on international stages, Philippe Bertaud creates a collective soul with himself at its heart. Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego… In 2000, adding shows, radio and TVs interviews Philippe’s career is growing. The North American audience is attracted by his charisma. Philippe Bertaud is referred by Los Angeles Times as “the New Lord of the Strings” gifted by “a percussive brand of guitarist wizardry” according to Jazziz Magazine.
Nothing stops Philippe’s determined passion for music: Brazil is his 2002 destination. There he blends his artistry with Brazilian musicians: techno band “Ze Maria”, composer “Durval Ferreira” and Bossa-Nova singer “Denise Pinaud”. With a deep affection for Brazilian culture, Philippe recorded a voice percussion acoustic guitar album with Denise and a nationwide tour followed. The tour led Philippe to Mexico, where the French Alliance hired his talents to promote French Culture through both concerts and in teaching Master-Classes in Universities throughout the country. Speaking French, English, Portuguese and Spanish, Philippe’s tour is a success! This continued with an Eastern European tour and led to collaboration with Bulgarian Jazz Trio, and Albanian flutist and virtuoso, Ilo Lula.
Today playing his custom-designed handmade Howell and Forsyth guitar, Philippe has chronicled his rich musical experiences in an instructional Heitor Villa Los DVD, produced by Gary Powell. He is currently working on new artistic projects including folkloric song arrangements and new dedicated pieces by composer Stephen Barber. Whether performing a new concerto, writing a new composition, revisiting a work from the guitar repertoire or exploring cultures and musical forms, Philippe Bertaud express his musical freedom out of any frames and patterns. He is teaching guitar at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts