Philippe Honoré (violinist)

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Philippe Honoré
Born (1967-03-21) March 21, 1967 (age 51)
Lyon, France Flag of France.svg
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Violinist
Instruments Violin
Years active 1988 – present
Labels EMI, Decca, Naxos Records, ASV Records, Meridian Records, Signum Records

Philippe Honoré (born March 21, 1967) is a French violinist who has been a regular recitalist in France and the United Kingdom.[1] He was appointed Violin Professor at the Royal Academy of Music [2] in London September 2012. He has performed widely in broadcast recitals on French radio and television.

Life and career[edit]

Philippe Honoré divides his busy schedule between solo work, chamber music, as well as leading orchestras. He was a principal player with the Philharmonia Orchestra (from 2005 to 2011). After having received top honours from the Paris Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was made Lauréat of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation of France in 1992. He was awarded an Honorary Associateship by the Royal Academy of Music in 2001.[citation needed]

Honoré is a former member of the Vellinger Quartet and a founder member of the Mobius ensemble.[3] As such, he has appeared in some of the most prestigious venues abroad (such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw) and in the UK (such as the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank in London). He has appeared as a soloist performing Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi concerti, as well as Ravel's Tzigane.

Philippe regularly appears as guest leader with some of the UK’s best orchestras. He has made numerous solo and chamber music recordings. His solo violin performances on the Decca album An Equal Music[4][5] are regularly featured on both Classic FM and Radio 3. The novel of that name by the author Vikram Seth was inspired by and dedicated to him.

Philippe’s collaboration with the composer Alec Roth over a recent four-year project earned him great critical acclaim. The performances took place at the Salisbury, Chelsea, and The Lichfield Festival. BBC Radio 3 recorded and broadcast these annual concerts, in which, in addition to the world premières of Roth’s work, Philippe also played solo Bach and Ysaÿe sonatas. The Times described his account of Roth’s solo work in 2007 as “magically played”. A studio recording of Alec Roth’s Ponticelli for solo violin, played by Philippe, was released by Signum records in November 2011.

Philippe recently gave a performance of the entirety of this four-year-long project at the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, July 2012. The series of these four concerts including Songs In Time Of War,[6] Ponticelli,[7] The Traveler, and the Seven Elements Suite was reviewed by Wordpress (Music and Beyond Blog). Philippe was described as both a Violin Virtuoso and a Super Violinist[8] and the performances were referred as spine-tingling.[9]

Philippe's Honoré work with Mobius was awarded favourable reviews.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Outside the world of classical music, Honoré is perhaps best known as Vikram Seth's former partner, a relationship that lasted eleven years;[11] Seth has spoken candidly of his relationship with Honoré in his non-fiction writings and brought his name to a wide audience in the acrostic Onegin stanza on Honoré's surname which forms the epigraph to the novel An Equal Music, which Seth credits Honoré with having inspired:[citation needed]

Perhaps this could have stayed unstated.
Had our words turned to other things
In the grey park, the rain abated,
Life would have quickened other strings.
I list your gifts in this creation:
Pen, paper, ink and inspiration,
Peace to the heart with touch or word,
Ease to the soul with note and chord.
How did that walk, those winter hours,
Occasion this? No lightning came;
Nor did I sense, when touched by flame,
Our story lit with borrowed powers -
Rather, by what our spirits burned,
Embered in words, to us returned.

Published works[edit]


  • 1999:Chamber Recital
  • 2000:An Equal Music
  • 2004:Strings Attached
  • 2004:Howells: Rhapsodic Quintet, Violin Sonata #3
  • 2008:Songs in Time of War
  • 2011:Shared Ground [12]

Notable instruments[edit]

Honoré's violin is an Eberle, made in 1786 in Naples.[citation needed]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]