Claude Kahn

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Claude Kahn
Kahn in 2015
Born(1935-11-09)9 November 1935
Marseille, France
Died17 November 2023(2023-11-17) (aged 88)
Golfe-Juan, France
  • Pianist
  • Conservatoire director

Claude Kahn (9 November 1935 – 17 November 2023) was a French classical pianist, internationally known for his interpretations of especially the music of Chopin, but also of French music (Debussy, Fauré, Ravel) as soloist or accompanied by great orchestras in the world. He founded and directed a piano competition in 1970, to become international as the Concours International de Piano Claude Kahn. He founded the conservatoire of Antibes in 1971 and directed it until 1991.


Born in Marseille,[1] Kahn started playing the piano at the age of four, then for over 10 years was a student of Marguerite Long. His other teachers were Yves Nat and Nadia Boulanger.[1] He received a prize for best interpretation at the Franz Liszt Competition in Budapest at age 15,[1] as well as the Medal of the Competition in Geneva.[2]

He played more than 2000 concerts worldwide, as a soloist and with orchestras including the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la garde républicaine, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.[2]

In 1970, he created the "Claude Kahn International Piano Competition"[1][3] which became "International" in 1980 and European in 1990. The finals and the concert of the winners traditionally take place at the Salle Gaveau in Paris.[2] Among the winners are Bernard d'Ascoli, Delphine Bardin,[2] Giovanni Bellucci, François Daudet, Kazuoki Fujii and Alexandre Tharaud.[1]

Kahn founded the Conservatoire de Musique et d'Art Dramatique d'Antibes-Juan les Pins in Antibes in 1971 and directed it until 1991. He also directed the Cagnes-sur-Mer conservatoire.[1]

He was awarded the Palmier d'Or "for his promotion of classical music throughout the world", was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and received the Palmes Académiques and the Mérite National.[2]

Kahn died on 17 November 2023, at age 88.[1][2][3]


Kahn recorded more than 25 albums, especially of works by Chopin, his favourite composer,[1] but also Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Fauré, Ravel, and others.[4]

They include:[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Gault, Philippe (17 November 2023). "Le grand pianiste français Claude Kahn est mort à 88 ans" (in French). Radio Classique. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cariou, Mathilde (17 November 2023). "Claude Kahn, célèbre pianiste français, est mort" (in French). Radio France. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b Depetris, Philippe (17 November 2023). "Le célèbre pianiste Claude Kahn est décédé dans sa maison de Golfe-Juan" (in French). var-matin. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Claude Kahn". 2023. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  5. ^ Herman, Michael (2020). "Russian, Soviet & Post-Soviet Concertos / Tchaikovsky" (PDF). p. 12. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  6. ^ Herman, Michael. "French Concertos" (PDF). p. 6. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  7. ^ Herman, Michael. "East Central Eurioean & Balkan Concertos" (PDF). p. 27. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  8. ^ Herman, Michael. "Russian, Soviet & Post-Soviet Concertos / Rachmaninoff" (PDF). p. 14. Retrieved 18 November 2023.

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