Credit: Philippe Denis
A French national born in 1979, Pierre Walter is currently the principal conductor of Opéra Montmartre in Paris and guest conductor at various French and European operatic and musical institutions.
It was his desire to share his passion for the operatic arts with as wide an audience as possible that led him, together with the Franco-Australian conductor and composer, Nicholas McRoberts, to found the Compagnie Opéra Montmartre. Based in Paris, the goal of the company is to make opera accessible to audiences for whom it has hitherto been unavailable. To achieve this objective, works are presented in formats adapted to small venues that can accommodate small orchestras. Opéra Montmartre also encourages amateur choirs and singers to participate in its projects.
In great demand as a conductor of opera, Pierre Walter has developed strong connections with several European operatic institutions. Since 2013, he has been a regular guest at State Opera Burgas/Bulgaria (La Bohéme, Madame Butterfly); State Opera Ruse/Bulgaria (Rigoletto, Tosca, Turandot); and State Opera Stara Zagora/Bulgaria (Croquefer and Dragonette by Offenbach, Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni). In Romania, he has appeared with the Oleg Danovski Opera and Ballet Theatre in Constanta (Il Trovatore, Nabucco, Carmen).
He has also been a guest of Opéra National du Rhin as assistant conductor in France to Maestro Patrick Davin (The Turn of the Screw, Britten) and to Maestro Kirill Karabits (Un ballo in maschera). Pierre Walter also assisted Maestro Karabits at the Grand Theâtre of Geneva with The Excursions of Mr. Broucek to the Moon and to the 15th Century by Janacek. In Bulgaria, he has conducted the Sofia and Ruse Philharmonic Orchestras; in Romania, the National Radio Orchestra; and in France, the orchestras of Mulhouse, Cannes and Reims and the ensemble, Les Fous de Jacquet.
Pierre Walter regularly conducts the Orchestra Pasdeloup, both as a component of Opéra Montmartre in the context of their partnership, and when Pasdeloup plays prestigious musical evenings (Nuits Musicales au Château de Chantilly) and educational concerts.
An ardent defender of French music, he harnesses his creative energy to promote little-known and unknown repertoire seeking to put it at the heart of thematic, comparative and progressive programs designed to bring the public's attention to a musical legacy too often ignored. In Bulgaria, he has produced and conducted several unknown works of Jules Massenet, Edouard Lalo and others.
Attentive to the development of repertoire, he has collaborated with well-known contemporaries such as Ida Gotkovsky, Roger Boutry and Anthony Girard, as well as promising young composers such as Dmitri Tchesnokov and Hao Yuan Chiu.
Elsewhere, as head of the Musique des Gardiens de la Paix, Pierre Walter has recorded a CD solely of female composers (Femmes compositeurs), revealing previously unknown works by Lili Boulanger, Germaine Tailleferre and Ida Gotkovsky.
Principal conductor of the Musique des Gardiens de la Paix from January 2009 to December 2011, he has as head of this ensemble attached to the Paris Prefecture of Police, followed a policy of openness and diversification with a view to developing the ensemble's activities in the suburbs beyond those that are purely official. He has also entered into partnerships with tertiary musical institutions to promote the potential of wind ensembles to future soloists, composers and orchestras.
On the educational front, Pierre Walter has undertaken the direction of several student and amateur ensembles, including in 2017/2018 the Youth Orchestra of Mulhouse in the context of the DEMOS Project of the Philharmonie de Paris.
In 2012, he was invited to replace Philippe Ferro at the last minute to take the class Initiation à la Direction d'Orchestre du CNSM de Paris. That same year, Alain Louvier offered him to lead an orchestral session grouping students from seven establishments from the Grand-Paris-Seine-Ouest area. In France, he has also given courses in conducting at the Marc Bloch University in Strasburg and directed the Colmar and Bourges Conservatory Orchestras.
Pierre Walter has received the following awards for his conducting: International Opera Conducting Competition, "Black Sea", 3rd prize,, May 2015; The City of Constanta's University for Arts awarded him the special prize for his orchestral direction of "Black Sea" in September, 2014; in 2013, he was a semi-finalist in the Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition (5th Edition) in Ruse, Bulgaria. Maestro Walter studied conducting with Jorma Panula, Dejan Savic, Aldo Faldi, Wolfgang Doerner, Salvador Mas Conde, François-Xavier Roth and Claire Levacher.
In tandem with his training as a conductor, he garnered four prizes from the CNSM Paris for his participation in the following classes: Gilbert Audin (bassoon); Alain Louvier (analysis); Emmanuel Reibel and Lucie Kayas (musical culture); and David Walter (chamber music). He also studied orchestration with Olivier Kaspar.
Pierre Walter speaks French, English, German and Italian, and has a working knowledge of Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Spanish, all of which, in conjunction with his competence as a conductor, makes him very much in demand.