After studying piano with Peter Wallfisch at the Royal College of Music in London, Françoise Tillard was for two years assistant to Professor Paul von Schilhawsky at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and got perfected with great accompanists such as Geoffrey Parsons and Eric Werba.
She began her career by giving concerts with Christa Ludwig and then accompanied Hanna Schaer, Donna Brown, Katia Ricciarelli, Walter Berry, Agnès Mellon, Barbara Bonney, Franck Le Guérinel, Françoise Masset, Paul-Alexandre Dubois … and gave numerous chamber music concerts (Brentano Trio, Fanny Hensel Trio…)
As a vocal coach, she was assistant to H. von Karajan, C. Abbado, S. Ozawa, D. Barenboim, P.Steinberg, F. Layer, Z.Mehta. She also worked with H. Behrens, M.Price, J. Larmore, L.Vaduva, F.Grundheber, P. Domingo, R. Raimondi, J. Carreras .
She taught melodies and lieder from 1991 to 1995 at Atelier lyrique de Lyon then from 1996 to 2000 in the repertoire class she founded in Paris. She led a master’s degree in “Art of Recital” at the University of Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle. From 2002 to 2022 she was a professor at the Conservatoires of Paris where she created a “Melodies and Lieder”class for singers and accompanists.
In addition to her chamber music activity, Françoise Tillard wrote a biography of the composer Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn published by Belfond (1992) and translated into German (Kindler Verlag) and English (Amadeus Press). This work earned her a doctorate in Germanic studies and was reissued in 2007 by Symétrie under the title Fanny Hensel, née Mendelssohn Bartholdy. She has also translated into French Christa Ludwig’s autobiography Und Ich wäre so gern Primadonna gewesen. She gives numerous “concerts conferences” around the theme of women composers in general and Fanny Hensel in particular (United States, Germany, Russia, Japan …).
In 2007, she received the Gerald Moore Award, Orphée d ́Or for best accompanist, awarded by the National Academy of Lyric Disks. In 2016, she published at La Lettre du Musicien Musicienne et Citoyenne, a short book suggesting the appropriate changes for bettering musical education and venues in France.
She provides musical direction for many pocket operas: Rita by Donizetti, Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot, La Esmeralda by Louise Bertin on a libretto by Victor Hugo, Une Éducation Manquée ! de Chabrier, La Colombede Gounod, Around King Pinard de Déodat de Séverac … Since 2018, under her direction, her association “Parole et Musique” has been organizing a season of chamber music with voice first at Espace Ararat (Paris XIII), then at Le Regard du Cygne (Paris XX).
Her discography includes works by Fanny Hensel, Gustav and Alma Mahler, Emmanuel Chabrier, Joseph Kosma and more recently Pauline Viardot with the mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d’Oustrac. As much as possible, she plays on historical pianos (Érard, Pleyel, Gaveau, Bechstein) whose recognition and resurgence are close to her heart.
– Two vinyl’s devoted to the works of Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn (Calliope,
– L’Europe musicale de 1792, with the Trio Brentano; works of Clementi,
Pleyel, Gyrowetz, Rasetti. (L’Empreinte digitale, 1989).
– Alma et Gustav Mahler with Hanna Schaer (Adda, 1990).
– Cabaret Songs, with Hanna Schaer ; works of Britten, Schoenberg and Kurt
Weill. (L’Empreinte digitale, 1990).
– Fanny Mendelssohn, Lieder and Trio, with Donna Brown and the Trio
Brentano. (Opus 111, 1992, sponsored by the Fondation France Télécom).
– Darius Milhaud, Chansons de Vildrac, with the soprano Cyrille Gersten-
haber. (Opus 111, 1993).
– Joseph Kosma, Chansons, with the students of the Atelier lyrique de Lyon.
(Opus 111, 1994).
– Chansons à boire with the students of her repertoire class, works of
Beethoven, Schubert, Verdi and other classical composers (private recording
by “Parole et Musique”, 1996).
– “Emmanuel Chabrier, Mélodies” with Agnès Mellon (soprano), Franck Le
Guérinel (baryton) and Françoise Tillard (piano) (Timpani, june 1997).
– Les Orientales en Musique with the singers of the “Atelier Parole et
Musique” ; works of Marie Jaëll, Vincent d’Indy, Wagner, Pauline Viardot,
Charles-Marie Widor… (Maisonneuve et Larose, november 2001)
– Veillée imaginaire autour de George Sand with Françoise Masset, et les mu-
siciens de Saint-Julien, œuvres de Tiersot, Chopin, Chabrier, Ravel, Bizet, A.
Holmes, M. Emmanuel, Canteloube, P. Viardot. (Alpha, 2010)
– “Mel Bonis, the work for violin and piano” with Francine Trachier, violin and
Marion Gomar, mezzo-soprano (Le Chant de Linos, 2017)
– “Pauline Viardot, Mélodies” with mezzo soprano Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Le
Chant de Linos, 2021)