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Philippe Cassard


Winning the competition – what it meant for you, the impact on your career:

Since I have been the first winner of the Dublin International Piano Competition in 1988, this event is now regarded as one of the most important among the music competitions in the world.

When I won first prize in the NCH, it was a great surprise for me, because I really didn’t expect it!

Those days are now a sort of treasury for my memory. Winning first prize changed my career completely.  The Dublin Competition provided me with so many concerts in Europe, New York…I was playing with orchestras, I had an agent in England…it was amazing!

Any special memory or anecdote

I can remember every single minute of those 15 days of the Competition, because I enjoyed it!  In fact, that was probably the first time in my life that I enjoyed doing a competition!  I remember the fantastic team…the way in which the competitors were welcomed…the host families.    

My host family was half Irish and half French, and we enjoyed a wonderful friendship. They are now almost like my second family. From the very first moment I stood on Irish soil…I have very good memories.

Your experience during the competition

Everything was done to ensure that each competitor was in the best mood, and in the best condition to play, and perform in front of the jury. We had pianos to practice on. We had wonderful drivers. We had everything…food, refreshments…everything. It was wonderful!