A fourth-generation of a musicians’ family, Jean Philippe Audoli receives at the age of thirteen the teaching of Christian Ferras at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, then of many great masters’ including Sergiu Célibidache and Isaac Stern in the United States of America.
Since 1987, he has been the First Violin of the Quatuor Ludwig, the first European orchestra to be invited by an American university and to be qualifying as a « Resident Quartet » at Yale (USA).
From then on, he has been regularly playing in more than a hundred countries including America, China, Canada, Japan and United Kingdom. At the same time, he has given many recitals, in particular at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. He received the Prix de la Fondation de France and recorded his firt solo album at Harmonia Mundi under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe.
In 1992, the Quatuor Ludwig is recognized as one of the best of its generation when it becomes a resident at the Paris’CNSM. It receives numerous awards from the music press (Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, ffff Télérama, 10 de Répertoire).
Audoli records 28 albums and receives many awards : the Cannes Midem Grand Price, two Premiers Grands Prix of the Académie Internationale du disque, the Grand Prix of the Académie du Disque Français, the Grand Prix International du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros and the premier Prix of the concours International Arthur Honegger.
From 2005 to 2007, Audoli has been acting as technical advisor of French Minister Azouz Begag. His powers of appointment were culture and media. He has been developing several projects for the Prime Minister.
These last years, Audoli has been appointed by many officials to conceive cultural and political projects. In 2008, he conceived the project « Saint-Étienne – Cultural European Capital ». The same year, he was appointed councellor at the Haut Conseil à l’Education Artistique et Culturelle.
In 2010, he celebrates his 25th anniversary of presence among the Quatuor Ludwig and his 10th as Artistic Director at the Festival du Château de la Moutte in Saint-Tropez.
François Michiels est un "fils de pub". Dès sa sortie d'HEC il débute sa carrière chez Young et Rubicam, puis TBWA. En 1973, il fonde sa société - Market Place - dont il fera le leader et la référence de l'événementiel enFrance, puis en Italie et en Espagne.
En 2000, il rencontre Jean-Philippe AUDOLI qui lui fait découvrir, à quelques pas de sa maison de vacances, le château de La Moutte. Conquis par la personnalité d'Annette Troisier et par le charme du lieu, il décide, à la demande d'Annette et de Jean-Philippe de reprendre avec celui-ci l'organisation des concerts au château. Et de développer simultanément le projet d'une École Internationale de Musique pour de jeunes musiciens qui, malheureusement, ne verra pas le jour.
Leur énergie se tourne alors entièrement vers la réalisation des concerts de l'été qui deviennent peu à peu l'évènement que l'on connait aujourd'hui, avec ses huit concerts dont deux sur la plage des Canoubiers qui apportent chaque année cet ajout évènementiel si cher à François Michiels.
Délégué Général du Festival, François Michiels réside à Saint-Tropez. Il occupe une grande partie de ses loisirs aux commandes de son vieux biplan d'époque qu'il présente dans tous les meetings aériens de la Région.
Located in Saint-Tropez, the estate of the Château de La Moutte stretches on four acres, three hundred meters away from the Salins beach.
This extraordinary property, nested in the heart of a centenarian palm tree garden, was purchased and renovated by Émile Ollivier in 1860, at the time the First of Napoléon the IIIrd ministers. He married Blandine Liszt, Franz Liszt's daughter and sister of Cosima Wagner. From then, a prestigious musical tradition established in this place where the artists and the audience took great pleasure to meet.
Its library, which includes over 4 000 books, has been kept as it was at the time. Students and historians regularly visit it .
In December 1998, the Conservatoire du Littoral received as a donation from Madame Troisier de Diaz, grand daughter of Émile Ollivier, the estate of the Château de La Moutte. Its management has been secured by the city of Saint-Tropez since février 2007. The chateau has been registered as a «monument historique ».
"Tell me what you read, I will tell you who you are, yes indeed. But I will know you better if you tell me what you read over" (François Mauriac)
There are those places whose memory lives on thanks to those who inhabited them and those still alive. Today as we often question the notion of immaterial inheritance and that of places of history, the Chateau de la Moutte offers a unique opportunity to explore our musical memory - the most immaterial of memories if any - and its 'vectors'. This Saint Tropez estate is well known by the festival-goers for its exceptional grounds, a beautiful setting perfect to welcome the summer concerts. But let us also draw attention to the fact that the castle houses a library, passed down generations all the way to Anne Troisier de Diaz who donated it, along with the rest of the estate, to the Coastal Conservacy Society. This library was very much the focus of Emile Ollivier. In 1868, as he is setting it up, he writes to the princess Carolyne de Sayn-Wittgenstein, a close friend and the wife of step father, that he wishes to provide a temple for studies and knowledge for his young son Daniel :
"I built a large library: atop the fireplace, instead of a mirror, I want a perpetual invitation to work for the young one, Raphaël's School of Athens. And above, the two figures of Justice and Poetry also from the immortal Stanza. I have the photos, I would like the engravings. It must be possible to find those. If you would like to give those to the young one, with a maxim signed by your hand about the holiness of work, you would help me give my child the best teaching in my opinion. There must be in books about buddhism or in your books, a beautiful maxim against laziness. I would like for you to uncover it and engrave it under the divine pinnacle of my dear Raphaël."
« Qui studet orat » : «He who studies, prays", offers the princess as she quotes Saint Clement of Alexandria. What is this motto truly about? And what about the presence of this "dear" Raphaël whose work was a reference for Emile Ollivier? How important is Liszt, and more broadly, how important is music in this library? Studies and culture were to Emile Ollivier the prerequisites for a good politician, an artist and more generally an accomplished man.
To take in the atmosphere and the 'surroundings' genius' in this mysterious library who welcomed Liszt and Wagner, Emile Ollivier and their friends and descendants, to tell their history and that of the castle through the books on its shelves, to study and tie them to what we know of the great men who read and held them, perhaps even taking notes: that is the purpose of the residence the festival has entrusted me with and that I am happy to begin.
The Chateau de la Moutte is a unique place of memory where a particular spirit of alchemy lives on, stemming from the balance between the buildings, their history and the surrounding nature. The books, these sleeping witnesses, can teach us a lot about those who gathered and read them, all the while opening the doors to a place worth rediscovering whose history can be revealed through these books.
AN ALMOST UNKNOWN SIDE OF A SECRET AND ENDEARING SAINT-TROPEZ.
Party and glamour stick to the image of the French Riviera, and they bring Saint-Tropez’s village to its climax.
However, do many know that on April 12th 1887, at eleven in the morning, one of the greatest authors and dandies of the 20th century, the rich and famous Guy de Maupassant, the women enthusiast, moored his Bel Ami sailing ship in Saint-Tropez’s harbor ? In his book entitled : Sur l’eau published that very same year, he writes the most beautiful and moving descriptions of the village.
In his wake, soon the Olympia, painter Paul Signac‘s sailing boat, will drop the anchor in the bay of the Canoubiers in 1892 (year of the birth of a great pianist, Germaine Tailleferre, who will also move to Saint-Tropez near the Pierre Plantée). Signac observes his boat from his house called La Hune which overhangs the little beach of the Graniers. This is where he accomodates Dunoyer de Segonzac, whom after World War I, would not cease to go back to à Saint-Tropez where he will finally settle near Sainte-Anne’s chapel. Matisse, Marquet, Cross and Derain will be part of Paul Signac’s tropezian circle. Between the two World Wars, a tiny elite settles in. In 1925, the great Colette buys a house on the route des Salins : Tamaris les Pins, that she will name La Treille Muscate. Gardening, farniente and sea dipping : her enchanting house will inspire her for La naissance du jour and Bella vista. She never fails to entertain, treating her friends with exquisite herbs, vegetables from her garden and garlic toasts that she is so fond of. She has numerous guests : Paul Géraldy, Francis Carco, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Luc-Albert Moreau, Joseph Kessel, Simone Berriau. Also, never to be missed : the popular dinners at L’Escale de Mado where the high point of the evening is the crowning of the woman who crafted the most beautiful spaghetti necklace, the joyridings at Palmyre where Colette dances frenzily around a mechanical piano with Mistinguett. Then again, work and pleasure mingle. This is the «Canoubiers crowd», as there is also the « Valfère crowd», the musicians’ one. This crowd is headed by Louis Durey discovered by Maurice Ravel in 1918, and only one woman is part of it: the pianist Germaine Tailleferre.
In Paris, Germaine Tailleferre is the friend of Arthur Rubinstein and Charlie Chaplin. She frequently meets Apollinaire, Paul Claudel, and Paul Valéry for whom she will compose in Saint-Tropez where she pursuits her musical work and her sonatas for piano. This is the period of the famous musical evenings in Valfère, a place where renown talented artists mix. During these years, Louis Durey gets married and moves to Saint-Tropez where he will compose his unique lyrical comedy : L’occasion, in 1923, as well as, piano sonatinas, chord quatuors, and unpublished pieces. He died in Saint-Tropez – the cemetery by the sea is his last home.
After World War II, Saint-Tropez becomes a haven for intellectuals. The harbor has been destroyed: Boris Vian moves in La Ponche. He goes to the bar of the same name, and suggests to the new owners, Lucien et Marguerite Armando, to create a cellar-club like in Saint-Germain des Prés. Delighted, the friends muck in, the painter Dany Lartigue son of Jacques-Henri, his brother in law Daniel Gélin, join the project. Paul Éluard, Juliette Gréco, Pierre Brasseur enjoy the party, even if they’re peniless. Anyhow, the magic happens : the Afro-American sax player Don-Byas, whom Boris Vian met in the cellars of Saint-Germain in Paris, casts his spell on the nights of the « Club Saint germain des Prés, La Ponche » soon nicknamed « La Ponche des Prés ».
About Jean Paul-Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Claude Lanzmann writes in his book called : Le lièvre de Patagonie : « In the spring of 1953, or rather just before spring, the three of us left for Saint-Tropez using rest as an excuse, even though Sartre worked much harder than in Paris since it was more peaceful. Saint-Tropez was pleasant and desert and we were staying at the Hôtel de La Ponche, Sartre had his own room, the Castor and I another. ». This is the time when, on the terrace of La Ponche, at drinks hour, Mouloudji and Jacques Douai join their melancholy to match the sunset. Years later, Claude François and Sacha Distel will follow.
Then it is Françoise Sagan ‘s turn to take residence in Saint-Tropez in 1954. Her celebrity, her clique, her parties make the news in Paris-Match and Elle magazines. She also composes songs for her friend Juliette Gréco. At five, making her way through the backdoor, when nightclubs are sleeping, Sagan sits at the piano and Juliette Gréco rehearses. She reads, and works on the scripts of : Bonjour tristesse, La chamade, Aimez-vous Brahms. Meanwhile, by her side, « Michel Magne writes symphonies for horns and bassoons » Sagan wrote in Avec mon meilleur souvenir au chapitre Saint-Tropez, acte II, the year Roger Vadim directed : Et Dieu créa la femme.
In 1956, on June 16th, 17th and 18th, Orson Welles happens to be in Saint-Tropez. He will later describe the famous Tropezian Bravade, in a little sketchbook, by drawing watercoulours enhanced by gouache. He offered the sketchbook to Rebecca the daughter he had with Rita Hayworth.
Here come the sixties. Marguerite Duras rents a house in Valfère. She writes : L’après-midi de Monsieur Andelmas. Sagan has asked Bernard Buffet to illustrate Toxiques. Herbert Von Karajan aquires La Palme, a villa by the shore in the Canoubiers’s bay, not far fro La Treille Muscate so dear to Colette and to the catalan painter Antoni Clavé with whom the Karajans befriend. Eliette, his wife, writes : « Saint-Tropez has always meant a lot in our lives. Herbert loved its climat, he appreciated the comfort of our house and the beauty of our garden where the flowers smelled so deep. » The famous conductor also has his cliché a la Saint-Tropez : his house has a sea-water heated pool in which Greta Garbo, Romy Schneider swim. As for Régine Crespin, she prefers to borrow his most recent Porsche for a ride in the Maures. He can also be seen piloting his own private jet at La Môle small airport, or sailing his superb 24meter yacht Hélisara on which he won the Giraglia Cup and many other prestigious boat-races. Herbert Von Karajan doesn’t disregard painter and jet-setter Vincent Roux’s parties, one could think that only idleness and pleasure compel! However, in her book : A ses côtés, his wife Eliette writes : « A tower had been added to our single-storey house. There he would find the serenity that he needed to study his partitions, plan his tours, pursue meditation, do his yoga exercises and devote himself to reading. Everything had been created as a response to his aspirations. Once the door was locked, the room was completely soundproof ; a technical set-up including a stereo system, a television, a video-player and a Huer tape-player, would enable him to listen to music on multiple channels, from any recording support at the volume of his choice . »
Sagan in : Avec mon meilleur souvenir in 1980 : « The mad profusion of money, fast-flowing, conspicuous and unrelenting… Beaches only exist if their chairs are to rent.» … in her chapter on Saint-Tropez, Act I.
Nevertheless, there is at the Château de La Moutte next to the beach of Les Salins and its eponymous pond, a lady, Annette Troisier de Diaz, who resists the profusion. With the Princess of Greece, her neighbor, she rents the beach from the City, afraid some beach paying club would establish there. Every day, stepping out of her old Citroën she would pick up papers left by tactless beachgoers. Whatever the cost or the energy, she wants to respect her famous grand-father Émile Ollivier, Minister of Napoléon the IIIrd, and author of L’Empire libéral (his grave overhangs the beach). Respect and look after with style, though with no means nor money, this magnificent estate he fell in love with where his first wife Blandine, daughter of Franz Liszt and Marie d’Agoult, died while giving birth. The château incidentally houses a table offered by Richard Wagner, Blandine’s daughter in law, (he married his sitster Cosima) on which he wrote Lohengrin. This beautiful estate made even more attractive after the construction of the Toscane building and the planting of unbowed palm-trees in its alleys by Emile Ollivier. For all these memories so dear to the Lady of La Moutte’s heart, no sacrifice could be too painful.
In order to save the château and make a little money, she invites musicians, accomodates them, cooks for them and organizes paying concerts to survive and perpetuate the tradition of her ancestors. Since she has no descendants, she will give in her patrimony to the Conservatoire du Littoral in order to keep the château as it is, her magnificent period library, (including 4 500 books) and the park. The City of Saint-Tropez, which manages the château, has the task to perpetuate her wishes: to continue the concerts under the leadership of Jean-Philippe Audoli, to host musicians, as well as scientists, researchers and students in the renovated Toscane building. The dream of the Dame de La Moutte finally comes true.
Simone Duckstein « L’Hôtel de la Ponche, un autre regard sur Saint-Tropez » by Simone Duckstein Published in June 2008 éditions du Cherche-Midi