The French conductor and musicologist, Jean-François Paillard, earned a degree in mathematics from the Sorbonne, but he turned to music soon after. He attended the Paris Conservatory as a musicology student, where he won first prize in music history.
Jean-François Paillard then formed the Ensemble Jean-Marie Leclair in 1952, which was renamed the Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra in 1953. Comprised of a dozen string players and a harpsichord, the group paralleled such small-scale English ensembles as the Boyd Neel Orchestra in performing Baroque-era works - especially those from France - as well as contemporary works for string orchestra.
Paillard became one of the most visible French exponents of Baroque music from the 1960’s onward. As the public's interest in Baroque music rose, the orchestra's popularity grew and was aided by a series of international tours covering dozens of countries. He has worked with such celebrated soloists as Maurice André and Jean-Pierre Rampal. Later in his career, Paillard turned more to guest conducting orchestras around the world and his avid interest in the sciences.
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