With a wide-ranging repertoire that encompasses Romantic and modernist music, French pianist Jean-François Heisser has distinguished himself as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, and educator.
A native of Saint-Étienne, Heisser studied with Paul Simonnar before attending the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied with Vlado Perlemuter. He began teaching at the Conservatoire in 1984, and he counts among his students Bertrand Chamayou, Vanessa Wagner, and Lucas Debargue. He has also been a professor and chair of the Académie Maurice Ravel of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the director of the Soirées musicales in Arles. Heisser has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Russia, with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Marek Janowski, Myung-Whun Chung, Leif Segerstam, Emmanuel Krivine, and Michael Tilson-Thomas, among others. He is also a frequent guest artist at music festivals in Europe. Heisser has shown an avid interest in chamber music, playing with many quartets and accompanying soloists in recital, and he has frequently performed music for two pianos with Marie-Josèphe Jude, with whom he recorded his transcription of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique on a 1928 Pleyel vis-à-vis piano for Harmonia Mundi. Many of Heisser's recordings have been released on that label, as well as Erato, Praga, Naïve, Apex, and Mirare.