Renowned Baroque Violinist, Florence Malgoire, Passes Away at 63

by Barbara

In a somber turn of events, the world has bid adieu to the illustrious figure in the realm of Baroque music, Florence Malgoire. An adept virtuoso of the violin, she not only graced the stage with her melodic prowess but also etched her name in history as the visionary behind epochal period-instrument ensembles, notably Les Nièces de Rameau and Les Dominos.

The chronicles of her life trace back to the year 1960, where her journey commenced as the offspring of distinguished musicians – flautist France Gombert and oboist Jean-Claude Malgoire, who notably held the esteemed position of Principal Cor Anglais with the illustrious Orchestra de Paris. Deeply moved and inspired by the mesmerizing rendition of the Brahms concerto by David Oistrakh, the young prodigy, at a mere age of 7, embarked on her odyssey to master the violin.

Her formative years were spent honing her craft at the prestigious conservatory in La Courneuve. Her early affiliations led her to the melodious realm of La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, a period-instrument ensemble nurtured into existence by none other than her own father.

As the chapters of her narrative unfolded, Malgoire’s pursuit of musical excellence led her to the hallowed halls of the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. It was there that she imbibed the teachings of Sigiswald Kuijken, a pivotal luminary in the Early Music Movement. This chapter of her journey saw her frequently sharing the stage with Kuijken’s historically attuned ensemble, the renowned La Petite Bande.

Venturing further, Malgoire lent her prodigious talents to various other ensembles, gracing the ranks of Philippe Herreweghe’s esteemed La Chapelle Royale group, where she eventually ascended to the position of first solo violinist. Her association with historically informed performance groups was a testament to her dedication, as she collaborated with the likes of Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and the evocative Cappella Mediterranea.

A pivotal juncture in her career was marked by the birth of her own creation, Les Dominos, in 2003. This ensemble served as a canvas for her creative expression, and together they crafted sonorous recordings featuring the sonatas of Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and François Couperin.

In the latter phase of her musical expedition, Florence Malgoire’s brilliance extended beyond her role as a violinist. The podium beckoned, and she answered the call, often commanding the baton for the Orchestre du Palais Royal.

As the curtains fall on this chapter of music history, her legacy persists through her husband, the accomplished writer and violist Hervé Mestron. In this time of sorrow, our heartfelt condolences extend to her bereaved family, cherished friends, and esteemed colleagues.

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