Ismaël Margain was born in 1992 in Sarlat in the Dordogne departement of France, where he began his musical training (piano, flute, saxophone, jazz, composition...). The pianist and conductor Vahan Mardirossian, with whom Ismael has worked since his youth, introduced him to his former teacher, Jacques Rouvier, who prepared him for the entrance competition for the Conservatoire National de Musique et Danse in Paris.
Accepted unanimously, he chose to enroll in the class of Nicholas Angelich, then after Angelich’s departure, he chose to pursue his training with Roger Murano and Michel Dalberto. He was a prize winner in the International Competition“Generation SPEDIDAM 2011”, in which he performed Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto. The prize was awarded by Aldo Ciccolini. This led him to perform Ravel’s Concerto in G at the Touquet International Music Masters festival in 2012.
It was, however, through the international competition “Long-Thibaud 2012”, where he performedMozart’s twenty-third piano concerto, that Ismael gained general public recognition. In this competition he won the “Prix du Public” and the third Marguerite Long Grand Prize, presented by the president of the jury, Menahem Pressler. In 2015, he played this concerto in a televised performance as part of the “Victoires de la Musique” festival and competition, where he was recognized in the category,“instrumental soloist discovery".
In 2011, during a recital at the Limoges Opera, Ismaël rendered homage to Liszt on the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth, and to one of his favorite composers, Schubert. He was invited very soon afterwards to perform in numerous festivals, for example the Easter and “Musical August” festivals at Deauville, the Chopin festival in Paris, the Festival of Music at Menton, the Bel-Air Keyboard Festival at Chambery, the Pablo Casals festival at Prades, the “Vacances de Monsieur Haydn” festival at La Roche-Posay, the “Printemps Musical des Alizes” festival at Essaouira in Morocco, “Tempo Piano Classique” at Croisic,“Piano aux Jacobins” at Toulouse,“Esprit du Piano” at Bordeaux,“Piano(s) a Lille”, and the Festival de Pont-Croix. He performs recitals and in chamber music with the Hermes quartet, Lise Berthaud, Edgar Moreau, Francois Salque, Gerard Causses, Alexandra Soumm, Bertrand Chamayou, Guillaume Vincent... and Adrien La Marca, who has invited him to record duets of Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann. He often plays at the Salle Cortot in Paris, for the Centre de Musique de Chambre, founded by Jerome Pernoo.
After winning the first prize in the competition of the “Societe des Arts” at Geneva, he has appeared in Germany at the Klavier Ruhr Festival, and in Switzerland and Bulgaria, performing Chopin’s second piano concerto. He has also toured Latin America and the United States, where he gave a series of recitals, concerts and master classes.
He has been invited to perform as soloist with several orchestras, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, and the Orchestre de l’Opera de Marseille.
Ismaël Margain is a resident artist at the Singer Polignac foundation, winner of the prize of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe, supported by the SAFRAN Foundation, and the l’Or du Rhin Foundation. He plays piano four-hands with Guillaume Bellom, with whom he has recorded two discs, dedicated to Mozart and Shubert, under the label Aparte/Harmonia Mundi. A Mendelssohn disc recorded live at Deauville on the B Records label came out in 2015. His first solo album, devoted to Schubert, will appear in early 2017.