Le Salon de Musiques – Chamber Music in San Diego, La Jolla – Chamber Music Series

About Us

Le Salon de Musiques - MASTERS REDISCOVERED

Francois CHOUCHAN

Founder & artistic director

Acclaimed French-American pianist François Chouchan is a sensitive and generous artist whose beauty of sound, clarity of texture and integrity of interpretation have been highly praised. The “neo-romantic melodist” likes to consider himself as “an emissary of love.” Since the beginning of his career, Chouchan has been completely involved with his audience.

“Playing music is a true act of love,” he says. “The intimate relationship with the public is essential. During my performances, I invite people to embark with me for a unique inner journey. Opening my heart, I share my deep feelings and emotions with them. I become transparent, almost vulnerable. I narrate a story. Each note becomes a word and each melody a sentence. It is very intense, sensual and fusional.”

Chouchan has appeared in recitals, and with orchestras and chamber music ensembles on several continents. Instructed by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen, Germaine Mounier and Jean Hubeau at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, he was unanimously awarded first prize in Piano and Chamber Music. As the third prize winner of the prestigious Viotti International Piano Competition in Italy, he was invited to perform for several Masters, including Mstislav Rostropovich, Nikita Magaloff, Georgy Sebok and Magda Tagliaferro.

A Franz Schubert specialist, Chouchan exemplifies the beauty of the Austrian Master’s scores with his exquisite touch and richness of colors.
“I always had a very strong connection with Franz Schubert,” he says. “His spirit seems to be linked to my heart. His music transcends the time and centuries. It seems to me that Schubert used his music as a mirror, a therapy. Expressing his loneliness, pain and melancholy, his scores evoke his furtive hope, sadness, candor and disillusion. They talk about his contrition and resignation. His music is totally unique and divine.”

An active chamber music player, Chouchan likes to reintroduce and play forgotten scores written by wonderful Romantic and Neo-Romantic composers. “So many gems have been kept inside the drawers forever,” he says. “It is my goal and expectation to take them out. The world deserves to rediscover them.”

A creative person, Chouchan is also a composer of melodic soundtracks for films. He has also collaborated with different contemporary ballet companies, performing Schubert Cycle “Winterreise” for baritone and piano with two dancers as a world premiere.

In 2007, Chouchan relocated in Los Angeles. He has performed in many famous venues, including the LACMA, Schoenberg Hall, California State University’s Long Beach, Northridge the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, Brandeis-Bardin Institute, L’Ermitage Foundation, Music Academy of Santa Barbara, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, St. Mary’s Church in New Orleans, and the California Club of Los Angeles. He also performs regularly in France. In 2010, Chouchan founded Le Salon de Musiques, an intimate chamber music concert series held in Los Angeles for 11 years. In 2021, artistic director Chouchan relocated to the San Diego area, and so did the concert series. For more information, visit www.Francois-Chouchan.com.

Nuvi Mehta

Musicologist

Widely considered one of the finest speakers on classical music, Nuvi Mehta has a gift for capturing the mind and heart of every person in his audience. The L.A. Times likens him to a young Gary Cooper, saying, “His old-fashioned Hollywood charisma extends to an eloquent and theatrical way of speaking that is almost entirely lost today.” Combining drama and music education in his concerts, he is creating a new generation of classical music lovers.
Appointed Director of Special Projects for the San Diego Symphony in 2006, Mehta launched the Symphony’s Classical Edge Series – multi-media concerts, introducing new patrons to ‘the stories behind the notes’ – the series developing a large dedicated following. Mehta’s on stage demonstrations and “What’s the Score?” talks, draw up to 1000 patrons a night.

Conducting appearances have taken Mehta across the United States, to Europe and to Mexico. He has been a guest of the San Diego Symphony, the New World Symphony the Knoxville Symphony, the Fine Arts Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City, and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as violin soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the Marquette Symphony, the Ann Arbor Symphony, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony, and as concertmaster and soloist with the New World Symphony.

Since 2004, as Artistic Director of the Ventura Music Festival Association, Mehta has expanded the range of festival concerts adding community outreach, On Stage Talks and Up Close events with artists. Today, the Ventura Music Festival presents the most illustrious artists in the worlds of classical music, jazz and crossover. Mehta is a graduate of Indiana University and The Juilliard School. He studied violin with Josef Gingold, Szymon Goldberg, David Cerone, and in masterclasses with Nathan Milstein. Conducting teachers include Otto Werner Mueller, and Charles Bruck and in masterclasses with Leonard Bernstein.

He lives in Jamul, California.

Michael Bane

Musicologist

Michael Bane received his PhD in musicology from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in classical guitar from Northwestern University. His research interests include the music of the French Baroque, Arnold Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School, and American popular music. He has published widely, and he spent a year in Paris as a Fulbright fellow. Before moving to San Diego, he taught for many years at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. When not teaching or writing, Michael enjoys web design and learning Mandarin.