The conductor and pianist Philippe Entremont was born in Rheims in 1934 and entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of twelve, when he won the Harriet Cohen Piano Medal. Four years later he made his professional debut in Barcelona and in 1953 made his first appearance in America with concerts at the National Gallery in Washington and in New York. Since then he has continued to appear as a soloist with major orchestras throughout the world. At the same time his career as a conductor has included appearances with orchestras ranging from the Royal Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to a number of major American orchestras, including Philadelphia, Minnesota, St Louis, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The recipient of many awards and honours, Philippe Entremont was appointed music director of the Orchestre Colonne de Paris in 1988. He is conductor laureate of both the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as the principal guest conductor of Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. He founded the biennial Santo Domingo Music Festival in 1997, which he returned for its fifth season in 2005.