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French pianist Lucas Debargue quickly became the most talked about competitor at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition held last year in Moscow, garnering praise for his musical individuality and emotional expression. In his Nebraska debut, Debargue presents a program of Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin and Ravel on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at LiedCenter.org, by phone at 402-472-4747 or at the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. Students can purchase tickets at a 50 percent discount with a valid NCard.

An introspective and insightful artist who draws inspiration across disciplines, in literature, painting, cinema and jazz, Lucas Debargue values rediscovering rare music by composers like Nikolai Medtner,  Samuel Maykapar and Nikolai Roslavets, and uses a self-cultivated and non-traditional artistic process to develop personal interpretations of a carefully selected repertoire.

Supported by the National School of Music of Paris of Alfred Cortot and Zaleski Foundation, Debargue won first prize at the ninth International Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in 2014 and fourth prize at the 15th Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, where he was also the only contestant across all disciplines to earn the Moscow Music Critics’ award.

Debargue began piano studies at age 11 at the Compiegne Conservatory under Christine Muenier. He gave up formal studies at age 16, but always maintained an admiration for virtuoso repertoire. After three years completing his Bachelor of Science at Paris 7 Diderot University, two of which spent famously not touching a piano, Debargue began studying at the Beauvais Conservatory under Philippe Tamborini. There he met his current professor Rena Shereshevskaya at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatory and this encounter became decisive to him. They soon prepared for his entrance examinations at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris, where he was admitted with unanimous approval to study with Professor Jean-François Heisser and ultimately obtained his bachelor’s degree in piano performance in 2015. Seeing in Debargue a future as a great interpreter, Professor Shereshevskaya admitted him into her class at the Cortot School to prepare him for grand international competitions.

Debargue’s performance is generously supported by the Lied Center’s Piano Circle: MarySue Harris, Anabeth H. Cox, Mrs. Larry H. Lusk, Joan M. Reist, Charlotte Heermann, Judith C. Amber, John & Mary Ann Clinton and Diana H. Warner.