Born in Annecy, Béatrice Martin began the harpsichord at the age of six. She studied with many grand masters of this instrument : Christiane Jaccottet at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset at the Paris Conservatoire (Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris), where she qualified with the highest possible distinction, as well as a cycle de perfectionnement. Master-classes with Huguette Dreyfus, Ton Koopman and Lars Ulrik Mortensen provided her with further invaluable advice. Diapason magazine describes her playing as distinguished by a “beautiful and compelling virtuosity” as well as a “masterful touch”.
In 1998 she became the first (and thus far the only) woman to win First Prize at the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, as well as the Audience Award and the Bärenreiter Prize. The following year she was named ADAMI Revelation at the Midem Cannes Conference.
Since then Béatrice Martin has performed at such prestigious festivals as Ambronay, La Roque d’Anthéron, Aix en Provence, Festival Couperin, Bach en Combrailles, Lanvellec, Printemps Baroque du Sablon, Utrecht, Bruges, Daroca, Girona, Malte, Tallinn. She took part in the French harpsichord cycle in Mexico City, and has performed in the London Festival of Baroque Music, Boston Early Music Festival and Music Sources Berkeley. She has also played in the Folles Journées de Nantes and la Festa de Música in Lisbon. In Paris, she has performed in complete cycles of Couperin, Rameau and Bach ; Itineraries from Bach to Handel ; Faces of the Passion… She has been invited to play at the Théâtre du Chatelet, the Opéra Comique and the Cité de la Musique, and for the Bach Concertos in France Musique’s 20-21 season.
Her talent as an accompanist has seen her invited to perform with such ensembles as Les Talens Lyriques, Le Concert Spirituel, Ricercar and Il Seminario Musicale.
Above all, she has been a privileged partner of William Christie and his Arts Florissants for over twenty years : from the Opéra Garnier to the Teatro Colón, from the Lincoln Center to Tokyo Opera City, the Comédie Française, the Aix-en-Provence and Thiré Festivals, recording more than 20 CDs and DVDs with them. Béatrice Martin has also performed in numerous operas, oratorios, concerts and comédies-ballets. In January 2015 she performed in the inaugural concert of the Philharmonie de Paris, and in December 2019 in the Odyssée Baroque, the 40th anniversary tour of Les Arts Florissants.
Her talent as a teacher is also well-known. A holder of the Certificat d’Aptitude teaching degree, Béatrice Martin created the harpsichord programme at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona in 2001 and taught there until 2014. Currently, she teaches at the Juilliard School in New York and the Haute École de Musique de Genève as well as the Paris Regional Conservatoire and Pôle Supérieur Paris Boulogne-Billancourt.
Having been a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra in 1993, she has taught several times during the audition courses for this prestigious ensemble.
She served as a member of the jury for the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition in 2011 and 2015, and for the Concorso Internazionale di Clavicembalo in Bologna in 2019.
In 2000, Béatrice Martin and Patrick Cohën-Akenine founded Les Folies françoises, to whose development she continues to devote herself, performing more than 600 concerts with them in France and abroad. Amongst other recordings with this ensemble, she has made four CDs of Bach’s music : The Dialogue Cantatas (with Cypres), and the complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord (with Fontmorigny, winning a Monde de la Musique “Choc”). The harpsichord concertos BWV 1052, 1053, 1055, and 1056 were released by Cypres in 2011; recorded on a magnificent historical instrument by Christian Zell, this CD was awarded a Diapason d’Or. Her solo CD, “Les Sauvages” (with Cypres), recorded on a harpsichord by Couchet-Blanchet, explored exoticism at the French court. It received 4 stars from MAD (Le Soir) and 5 Diapasons. This same magazine praised it as “an ambitious and passionate recital, deploying an impressive range of touch”.
In 2018, Béatrice Martin and Olivier Baumont recorded François Couperin’s Apothéoses. Classica and Diapason magazines hailed the conviction, elegance, voluptuousness and grandeur of their rhetoric.