Pierre-Nicolas Colombat (b. 1992, Baltimore, MD) is an American/French pianist and teacher living in Boston, MA. Colombat currently studies with Pavel Nersessian during the course of his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Boston University. He holds a Master’s degree in performance from the New England Conservatory where he studied primarily with Gabriel Chodos. In 2014 he received his Bachelor’s degree in piano from the DePaul School of Music as well as the university’s Honors College under the tutelage of George Vatchnadze. Concert engagements this year include performances throughout various American cities as well as in Canada and France. While his repertoire is largely centered on traditional western art music, Colombat recently has performed a variety of styles from Ragtime and silent film music to the avant-garde repertoire music of today. At the invitation of pianist Steve Drury, Colombat was invited to perform in the Boston Symphony’s Prelude Series concerts. These concerts allowed him to work directly with composers such as Timo Andres (performance of Mooring found here) and Julian Anderson. In 2017 he was a fellow of NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. Other concerts feature collaborations with guitarist Zaira Meneses, violinst Eva Aronian, and soprano Sophie Boyer as well as full solo recitals. This spring, Colombat received 2nd prize in the Arlington Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Competition. His 2015 Jordan Hall performance of Prokofiev’s fifth piano sonata was recently awarded first prize in the International Great Composer’s Competition. In 2014, he won the Grand Prize in the inaugural Kleinman Piano Competition in Chicago. As the founding member of the Quo Vadis, Schubert? collective, Colombat commissions and performs new works from contemporary composers. The concerts held by the Quo Vadis, Schubert? collective focus on audience interaction and strive to encourage audiences to question the works they hear, treating music not as canonized art but as direct and intimate expression. The Quo Vadis, Schubert? collective is the most recent example of Colombat’s desire to provide fresh ways for audiences to interpret and interact with the live music they hear. Other efforts in this direction include writing essays, hosting a concert review podcast, and concerts such as his 2014 presentation/recital at Loyola University Maryland exploring similarities between the French language and French violin/piano music from the turn of the 20th century.
Despite beginning lessons at the age of five and attending the Peabody Preparatory, Colombat only became committed to studying music around the age of 14 thanks to the influence of Rachel Long, his middle school music instructor. In 2012, he visited Gargenville, France where he began an extended period of study with pianist and composer Emil Naoumoff. Colombat studied piano pedagogy with the founder of the DePaul Community Music Division, Dr. Susan Baker. He has performed in master classes with Georg Friedrich Haas, Victor Rosenbaum, Paul Lewis, and Alexandre Toradze. During his time in Chicago, Colombat enjoyed serving as Music Director of Berry Methodist Church and as faculty member for the Merit School of Music.