Sévilla, Jean-PaulJean-Paul Sévilla. Pianist, teacher, b Oran (Ouahran), Algeria, 26 Mar 1934; premier prix piano (Paris Conservatory) 1952, premier prix chamber music (Paris Conservatory) 1953. Jean-Paul Sévilla studied 1948-52 at the Paris Conservatory, primarily with Blanche Bascourret de Gueraldi and Marcel Ciampi. In 1952 he received the prix d'honneur and undertook his first European tours. In 1954 he obtained first prize at the Jeunesses Musicales Competition in France and in 1959 he was awarded first prize by unanimous decision at the Geneva International Competition for Musical Performers.
For the Jeunesses musicales du Canada (Youth and Music Canada), Sévilla toured Canada 1961-2 as a member of a trio and 1962-3 as a solo recitalist and taught at the JMC Orford Arts Centre. He made his US debut in 1961, his Mexican debut in 1964, and his South American debut in 1967. In Montreal he gave the first Canadian performances of sonatas by Henri Dutilleux and Alberto Ginastera.
In 1971 at the University of Ottawa Sévilla presented a series of concerts of French music that included Canadian premieres of works by Tisné, Dukas, Delvincourt, and Constant. In January 1972 at a public recital taped for broadcast by CBC Toronto he premiered Complémentarité, a work dedicated to him by its composer, Jean Papineau-Couture. In March 1975 Sévilla performed Ravel's piano repertoire at the National Arts Centre to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth. Prior to that time he had played Ravel's complete piano works in recitals in France, Belgium, Spain, and Argentina. A sabbatical 1978-9 in Paris was spent working on a performing edition of the piano works of Fauré and giving lecture-recitals on them at several French conservatories.
Sévilla taught at the University of Ottawa 1970-94, and he has given summer courses in Aix-en-Provence, Perpignan, Nice, Poitiers, Verneuil-sur-Avre, France; in Canada in Banff, Alta, and Victoria, BC; and has taught in Tokyo, thereafter adding Asia to his touring program. Angela Hewitt, Andrew Tunis, and Laurent Philippe were among his pupils. He has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory (Ohio), and the Schola Cantorum (Paris).
Sévilla possesses a secure technique and a repertoire, which extends from Bach to 20th-century composers, some of whom (eg, Castérède, Dutilleux, and Jolivet) have dedicated works to him. His programs, however, have shown a preference for music of the Romantic and Impressionist periods. In 1984 he was made an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres de France. Upon his retirement from the University of Ottawa, Sévilla toured in Europe and Asia, while retaining a base in Ottawa. His recording of Gabriel Pierné's Variations in C Minor won a Diapason d'Or award in 1998.
'Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): his life and nature,' Clavier, vol 14, Oct 1975
'Gabriel Fauré,' Clavier, vol 15, Apr 1976
"Maurice Ravel," Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations Newsletter, winter 1988