Ousset, Cécile, French pianist; b. Tarbes, Jan. 23, 1936. A child prodigy, she made her public debut when she was only 5. She studied with Marcel Ciampi at the Paris Cons., where she graduated with the premier prix at age 14. In 1953 she won the Claire Pages Prize. She subsequently won prizes in several competitions, including the Geneva (second prize co-winner, 1954), Queen Elisabeth of Belgium (fourth prize winner, 1956), Busoni (second prize co-winner, 1959), and Van Cliburn (fourth prize winner, 1962) competitions. She appeared regularly as a soloist with French orchs. and as a recitalist. In 1980 she made her British debut at the Edinburgh Festival. In 1984 she made her U.S. debut as a soloist with the Los Angeles Phil., and that same year she made her first tour of Japan. In subsequent years, she pursued an international career. In addition to her idiomatic interpretations of the French repertoire, she has also won distinction in the Austro-German repertoire.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire