Benjamin Alard’s principal passion has always been the music of J.S. Bach and it was for his interpretation of this great composer that he was awarded first prize in the 2004 International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges.
While still quite young he began studying music in his hometown in Dieppe, France. He was soon drawn to the organ and entered the Conservatory of Rouen where he studied with Louis Thiry and François Ménissier.
He was first introduced to the harpsichord by Elizabeth Joyé, with whom he studied in Paris before going on, in 2003, to the Schola Cantorum in Basel to work with Jörg-Andreas Bôtticher, Jean-Claude Zehnder and Andrea Marcon.
Since 2005 he has been organist of the Bernard Aubertin organ in the church of Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile in Paris where each season he gives concerts about the music of Bach.
Today Benjamin Alard divides his time between performing recitals and chamber music on both the harpsichord and organ. He often performs repertoire for two harpsichords with Elisabeth Joyé, in duo with the violinist Francois Fernandez or in trio but also with Emmanuel Pahud. He is regularly invited to perform as soloist in music series in Europe, Japan and North America.
Benjamin Alard has recorded for the label Hortus and has made several recordings of works by J. S. Bach for Alpha (Sonatas in trio, Clavier Übung I and II). His recordings have consistently received high praise from the press and have been awarded multiple prizes.
He now devotes himself to the complete works for harpsichord and organ solo of Johann Sebastian Bach for harmonia mundi. Eight boxes, of 17, are already available. Volume 3, “À la française”, was the recipient of the presitigous Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkrik (German Record Critics' Award). The release of volume 5, “Weimar 1708-1713 - Toccatas and Fuges” was followed in March of 2022 by the publication of volume 6, the first book of “The Well-Tempered Clavier”, marking the work’s 300th anniversary. This recording got the award “Recording of the month” by Gramophone and the famous “Diapason d’or” awarded by the French magazine Diapason. In October 2022, harmonia mundi has published a boxed-set of Benjamin Alard’s recordings dedicated to Bach’s “Orgelbüchlein”.
It is in the spirit of cult by associating an amateur choir, the Ensemble vocal Bergamasque, and a children's choir, the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris, that Benjamin Alard recorded the Orgelbüchlein published at the fall 2022. May 2023 saw the release of volume 8 dedicated to Maria Barbara, the first wife of Johann Sebastian Bach. Volume 9 expected for spring 2024 will be devoted to “Köthen, the Happy Years” but before that, during the winter of 2024, a Manuel de Falla CD will be released with which harmonia mundi has associated Benjamin Alard. There he performed the concerto for harpsichord and five instruments and played the harpsichord part in El retablo by Maese Pedro with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado.
Benjamin Alard performs regularly in principal musical centers world-wide, from Paris to Moscow and Saint-Peterbourg (Mariinsky Theatre) and further afield, to Tokyo, Boston, Madrid, Barcelona, Switzerland or Belgium.