Pierre Bergé

pbPierre Bergé  (1930-2017) was born  on the Island of Oléron – France. At a very early age, he became interested in literature and was much influenced by his contact with Jean Giono and Jean Cocteau. He remained a friend of both until their deaths and continues today to take an active interest in their work. He is the holder of the moral rights as concerns the literary and artistic work of Jean Cocteau. In 1958 he met Yves Saint Laurent. They went on to found the Couture House together in 1961. He was C.E.O. of Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture to the close in 2002. He is now the President of The Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.

He ran the Athénée-Louis Jouvet theatre where he produced Peter Schaffer’s « Equus » with François Périer, four plays by Molière (directed by Antoine Vitez), « Navire Night » by Maguerite Duras (directed by Claude Régy). Following this he founded the « Lundis Musicaux de l’Athénée » (1977) where artists such as Dame Janet Baker, Montserrat Caballe, Boris Christoff, Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Gundula Janowitz, Gwyneth Jones, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Joan Sutherland, Jessye Norman, Jose Van Dam, Shirley Verret, Jon Vickers and many others performed.
He has put on concerts by Philip Glass and John Cage, and a show at Pigall’s starring Ingrid Caven. For many years he has supported the work of Robert Wilson throughout the world and, more recently, that of Peter Brook. He was appointed goodwill ambassador of UNESCO on July 2nd 1993 .

On August 31st 1988 François Mitterrand, President of France, appointed Pierre Bergé President of the Paris Opera. He remained President until 1994 when he became honorary President of the Paris National Opera. He is on the Board of various French and foreign companies.

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He has received the following honours

Officier dans l’Ordre d’Orange-Nassau
Officer de l’Ordre National du Mérite
Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres
Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur

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Photos : Françoise Viard, Eva Rubinstein, B.W