In memoriam

The pianist René Herbin died in the plane crash of September 1st, 1953, with Jacques Thibaud. They had to play together in Japan.

Born in 1911 in Vitry-le-François, René Herbin left his native town and entered the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Isidore Philipp (piano) and Noël Gallon and Henri Busser(composition). He got two first prices (Prokofiev was in the piano jury !).

He began a double career of pianist and composer. He played with the French cellist Maurice Maréchal in Far East in 1937, but he was a prisoner between 1939 and 1945. He composed in very difficult conditions pieces such as Sonata for piano and violin, Deïrdre des douleurs for chamber orchestra, Album d'images, Préludes baroques...).

After the war, he got married, premiered in 1949 his Quartet with piano with the Pasquier Trio. His Concerto for piano and orchestra (1952), commissioned by the State, was premiered in 1956 by Vlado Perlemuter. He vanished with Jacques Thibaud in 1953 in the plane crash above the Mont Cernet. His Trois Songes pour orchestre are still to be discovered.

A great part of René Herbin's works is available at the Chant du monde editions.

His Piano Quartet was recorded (Gallo, 1993). The collectors can get a long playing edited in 1983 : Album d'images, Ballade pour piano, Sonate pour piano et violon with Elizabeth Herbin (piano) and Alexis Galperine (violin) ; ref. Pavane Records DW 7143.

A "Société musicale René Herbin", presided by Henri Dutilleux and Vlado Perlemuter, was founded in 1992 by his daughter Elizabeth, who also is a pianist : 9, rue Albert-Guilpin, 94250 Gentilly ; tel. 05 46 35 28 79 ; 06 82 42 10 37.