Les Amateurs Virtuoses !

Les Amateurs Virtuoses ! ("Virtuoso Amateurs") is unique in its kind, as it gives outstanding performance opportunities to pianists who have a double life.
Beyond their passion for piano, most performers in the festival also have other professions, in such diverse fields as engineering, architecture, medicine, teaching etc.

It is the first festival ever to have offered laureates of international piano amateur competitions such incredible opportunities to perform in venues where they would usually have no chance to be heard: to name a few, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Capella in Saint Petersburg, the Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, the City Hall in Cape Town etc.

To this date, the festival remains the biggest event of this type in the world.

The Team

The festival is managed by the Pianestival association, composed of:

The artistic direction is performed by Julien Kurtz.

Jérôme Bastianelli
Photo: Thierry Chapotot

Jérôme Bastianelli

President of the Festival

Jérôme Bastianelli, high official, is currently Deputy Managing Director of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, in Paris.
Both a writer and a music critic, he is the author of biographies about Federico Mompou, Felix Mendelssohn, Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovski and Georges Bizet, and has been collaborating to the Diapason magazine since 2000. He also edited the two Ruskinian translations of Proust works (collection "Bouquins", Robert Laffont, 2015) and published a Proust-Ruskin Dictionary (Garnier, 2017). His novel "La vraie vie de Vinteuil" was published by Grasset in 2019.
Since January 2018, he has been president of the Société des Amis de Marcel Proust et des Amis de Combray.
Jérôme Bastianelli has been president of "Les Amateurs Virtuoses" festival since 2019.

Julien Kurtz / Dominique Xardel.
Photo: Marie Babey

Julien Kurtz / Dominique Xardel

Founders of the festival

Julien Kurtz et Dominique Xardel, two piano-lovers, met in 2007 in Boston. The Pianestival association was born. It then developed and became in 2011 "Les Amateurs Virtuoses !" piano festival.