Swiss pianist and organist, Jacques Tchamkerten was born in Geneva in 1960. After studying piano, then organ with Pierre Segond at the Conservatoire de Genève, he undertook the study of the Ondes Martenot with Jeanne Loriod, in whose class he was awarded a gold medal at the Conservatoire de Saint-Maur (France) in 1986. Since then he has performed in a dozen European countries, either with orchestra of in chamber ensembles.
Jacques Tchamkerten specialises in the technique of rare electronic keyboard instruments of the early 1930s, ancestors of today’s synthesizers. French composers such as Milhaud, Honegger, Koechlin, Messiaen and Jolivet have written works for Ondes Martenot, an instrument on which Mme Loriod is the acknowledged expert. He lectures frequently on his instrument and, besides engagements as a solo or chamber performer, is much in demand as a player in works such as Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, where the Ondes Martenot also figure in the orchestral texture.
He was also a member, from 1990 to 1996, of the Sextuor Jeanne Loriod, an ensemble of six Ondes Martenot. In addition to his activities as an instrumentalist, Jacques Tchamkerten has published several works on Swiss and French music from the twentieth century, notably on Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, Ernest Bloch, Arthur Honegger, and Olivier Messiaen and he has written several articles for the new edition of the New Grove Dictionary. He is, in addition, responsible for the library of the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.