The French pianist, Bernard Ringeissen, started taking piano lessons at the age of seven. His first teacher was Georges de Lausnay, who continued working with Ringeissen after he entered the Conservatoire Nationale Superieure de Musique (CNSM) in Paris in 1947. Four years later, Ringeissen won the Premier Prix of the Conservatoire as well as a separate prize for his chamber studies with Professor Pierre Pasquiera (1951). After graduation Ringeissen continued his studies, initially with Marguerite Long and later with Jacques Février; he also began an active concert career in France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria.
In 1953, on the advice of his teachers, Bernard Ringeissen discontinued his public appearances, focusing instead on preparing himself for international music competitions. His results in the following years were impressive. He came 2nd (ex aequo with Sergio Scopelliti) and won the Aldo Ciccolini Award at the Alfredo Casella Competition in Naples (1954); was awarded 1st Prize at the 1954 Music Performance Competition in Geneva; 4th at the 5th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1955), 2nd (ex aequo with Dmitri Bashkirov) and winner of the Grand Prix Francis Salabert at the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (no 1st Prize was awarded); 1st Prize and the Heitor Villa-Lobos Award at the 1962 Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro (initiated and organized by Aleksander Sienkiewicz, a student of Paderewski).
After his success in Warsaw and Paris (1955), Bernard Ringeissen left for a six-month tour of the Americas, giving over 100 concerts in Canada, Mexico and Brazil. His stage career followed uninterrupted for several decades, he played with with the most celebrated orchestras of Paris, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Warsaw and under leading conductors. He has participated in top international festivals, among others in Athens, Aix-en-Provence, Marienbad, Besancon, Duszniki-Zdrój. He often plays in Poland where he enjoys tremendous popularity that was firmly established during the 1955 Competition.
Bernard Ringeissen has a varied repertoire, including piano concertos by Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saëns, César Franck, Milhaud, Ravel, Scriabin and Prokofiev, and many solo works. Chopin occupies a prominent place in his programmes and is always met with applause.
Bernard Ringeissen has made many recordings for Erato, Polskie Nagrania / Muza, Wifon, Adés, Calliopé, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos and others, recording works of Charles-Valentin Alkan, Débussy, Chopin, Józef Wieniawski, Cui, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, C. Saint-Saëns (complete works), Igor Stravinsky (complete works), R. Hahn and others.
Bernard Ringeissen has participated in several international music competitions juries, e.g. Long in Paris, Chopin in Warsaw (in 1975,1985,1990,1995 and 2000), Schumann in Zwickau, Bach in Leipzig, Schubert in Dortmund, Liszt in Weimar, Munich, Belgrade, and Lisbon. He teaches at C.N.R. in Rueil-Malmaison, and gives master-classes at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the International Summer Seminar in Weimar.