Born in 1987 in Arles, France, Julien began learning the piano at the age of five. He was taught by Erik Berchot and Rena Shereshevskaya at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot and in 2013 began working with Maria João Pires at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. She subsequently invited him to continue his studies at the Queen Elisabeth Musical Chapel in Belgium and to be one of the founding members of the Partitura Project.
Maria and Julien have performed together all over the world, with performances at the Chopin Festival (Warsaw), Auditorium Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze (Florence), Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford), Severance Hall (Cleveland) and Tippet Rise Art Centre (Montana). In addition, they have also given many workshops together and launched educational and social programs for children (including Equinox). Highlights of Julien’s 17/18 season include recitals at the Festival Classique au Vert, Piano aux Jacobins and the Philharmonie de Paris.
Julien is now resident in Belgais, at the Centre for Arts created by Maria, and his first solo recording (of works by Chopin) was released in January 2017 by Rubicon Classics. The recording was received with critical acclaim by the international press, notably BBC Music Magazine which called it “Spellbinding Chopin”, gave it 5 stars and featured it as its ‘Instrumental Choice’ album of the month. Julien’s next album will be released in 2018, again on Rubicon Classics, and feature works by Ravel and Mompou.
For a full biography and high resolution photos please contact Susie Murray: [email protected]
Video & Audio
From The Green Room
23 Mar 18 Reflections: Mompou & Ravel CD ReviewsMore info
“From the highly impressive Julien Brocal, who gives us Mompou and Ravel, there’s the Catalan composer’s three Paisajes (‘Landscapes’) – miniature, visionary and, here, fabulously played. The third of the set, ‘Carros de Galicia’ (‘Carts of Galicia’) stretches tonality to its limits and the effect is pure magic.”
“L’équilibre de ce piano est singulier : basses impondérables toujours dans la résonance, médium clair et ample, aigus nacrés, sans aucune dureté, qui continuent à briller dans l’harmonie, et que Julien Brocal manie avec une délicatesse extrême, composant les timbres avec quelque chose d’onirique dans la conduite des phrasés, et jusque dans le flot des mesures qu’on ne voit plus tant les paysages les ont remplacées.”
13 Nov 17 Ravel 'Mirroirs' Duo Recital with Maria João Pires Philharmonie de ParisMore info
“Pureté et émerveillement d’un paysage, mettons le superbe jardin de Sintra, ou bien le jardin extraordinaire de Trenet.”
” […] le thème de la Fantaisie en fa mineur D 940 est poignant, saisissant de douceur et de mélancolie”
19 Jan 17 CD: Les états d’Âme Rubicon ClassicsMore info
“Brocal offers a thoughtful traversal of Chopin’s Op 28 Preludes, knitting together these 24 miniatures – some lasting barely half a minute – to form a coherent whole. His playing is quietly riveting, drawing the attention without grand gestures, and so focused that the melodies in ostensibly busy little pieces like No 3 and No 8 hold their stillness while the decorative gossamer accompaniment spirals around them.”
★★★★ Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 12th January 2017
“His traversal of the 24 Preludes is spellbinding, and for all the right reasons. Where many dive headlong into the opening C major piece, Brocal is more measured, though he delivers plenty of virtuosity as the cycle unfolds…. [For the Sonata in B flat minor] the pianist strikes a compelling balance between Romantic volatility and Classical elegance.”
★★★★★ John Allison, BBC Music Magazine, March 2017