2024 – Blanche Selva Grant (€ 1500)

Special Prize

20th century interpreters

Supported by Françoise Thinat and the endowment fund Galaxie-Y.

Awarded to the best performance of the work for solo piano imposed in the Final (Déodat de Séverac, Paul Dukas, Guy Ropartz).


Created in 2018 by Françoise Thinat, the Galaxie-Y endowment fund’s primary aim is to support young pianist-artists, helping them to develop their skills and blossom as artists.

More recently, Galaxie-Y has also broadened its scope to promote rarely-played French or contemporary piano repertoires, by organising concerts and making CD recordings with young pianists and established artists.

Genius is but childhood rediscovered at will” – Charles Baudelaire

It was the memory of my own childhood, protected and privileged, yet difficult because of the war and the occupation, that gave me the idea for this musical event, a tribute to my mother, pianist Yvonne Sorlet-Thinat, and to the pantheon of artists she knew how to make us admire Léon Kartun, Raoul Pugno, Alfred Cortot, the Spanish Tintorer and the incredible Blanche Selva. The real teacher in her life was Yves Nat, whom she really met and liked, but my mother had a veneration for Maurice Naudin and Antoine Mariotte, her mentors at the Conservatoire of Orléans . 

Above all, she admired Blanche Selva as an immense teacher, her ideas, her methods, her tolerance and openness in terms of the piano repertoire. Her very ‘closed’ morality in matters of religion is difficult for us to understand in this day and age, but it was seductive to equate piano exercises with good morals. And, above and beyond her pedagogical principles, it was the immense, extraordinary performer, virtuoso and incomparable reader to whom I wanted to entrust the profound meaning of the Competition, as an artistic godmother with an indomitable curiosity.

The future of the Competition lies in the hands of new performers, ‘missi dominici’ of our beautiful piano music, heroes in the Blanche Selva tradition of curiosity and creation.

In a magnificent book of personal accounts entitled ‘Blanche Selva, naissance d’un piano moderne’ (Symétrie Publishing), I was able to express my views on the supposed reactions of Vincent d’Indy’s favourite pianist when confronted with the great sonatas of our time, and I remain convinced that she would have valiantly overcome the challenge… Blanche Selva, through her relationship as a great pianist with composition and her composer friends, remains the inspiration behind the Competition of Orléans.

Françoise Thinat







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