Jean-Pierre Rampal Biography


About Jean-Pierre Rampal

Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal was a celebrated French flautist who became the first of modern times to establish the solo flute on the international concert circuit, paving the way for the next generations of flautist-superstars such as James Galway.

Rampal’s father, Joseph Rampal, was the first flutist of the Marseilles Symphony Orchestra and taught him to play the flute. Jean-Pierre did not originally plan on a career in music and had enrolled into medical school. This changed in 1943 during his third year of medical study when German occupying forces drafted him for service in the military as forced labor. To avoid this, he went absent without leave and assumed a new identity in Paris. There, he attended the National Conservatory as a flute student, graduating five months later with first prize in the conservatory’s annual flute competition (as his father Joseph in 1919).

In 1945, following the liberation of Paris, Rampal was invited to perform the demanding Flute Concerto, written for Marcel Moyse, live on French National Radio. It launched his concert career overnight and was the first of many such broadcasts. His romantic sound of flute playing and a virtuosity that has delighted and delighted and influenced generations of audiences and flautists alike.

From 1955–1962, he joined the orchestra of the Paris Opéra. He taught at the Paris Conservatory and gave master classes around the world. He appeared with every major orchestra, gave recitals worldwide, and recorded prolifically, covering standard flute repertoire as well as exploring many new pieces. Several of his recordings have won the Grand Prix du Disques. His musical range was diverse: he appeared in recordings of English folksong, American ragtime, European jazz, and Japanese, Chinese, and Indian classical music.

Rampal received various honors, including Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur (1996), Officier des Arts et Lettres (1971), Commandeur de l’Ordre National de Mérite, the Prix du Président de la République, and the Prix du Académie Charles Cros.

Rampal’s autobiography, Music, My Love, was published in 1989.

Jean-Pierre Rampal lived from January 7, 1922–May 20, 2000.


Further Reading

  1. “Jean-Pierre Rampal.” Last.fm Ltd. CBS Interactive. 2 December 2007. Web. 9 May 2015. <http://www.last.fm/music/Jean-Pierre+Rampal>. [GNU Free Documentation License]
  2. Stevenson, Joseph. “Jean-Pierre Rampal.” AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Web. 9 May 2015.<http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jean-pierre-rampal-mn0000813814/biography>.
  3. Wikipedia contributors. “Jean-Pierre Rampal.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 May 2015. Web. 10 May. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Pierre_Rampal>.
  4. Rampal, Jean-Pierre, & Wise, Deborah. Music, My LoveRandom House Incorporated, 1989.