A countertenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of a contralto, mezzo-soprano, or (less frequently) a soprano, usually through use of falsetto, or far more rarely the normal or modal voice. A pre-pubescent male who has this ability is called a treble. This term is used exclusively in the context of the classical vocal tradition, although numerous popular music artists also prefer employing falsetto.
Philippe Jaroussky (born 13 February 1978 in Maisons-Laffitte, France) is a French sopranist countertenor. He began his musical career with the violin, winning an award at the Versailles conservatory and then took up the piano before turning to singing. He is noted for a virtuosiccoloratura technique and for compelling and enlivened interpretations of baroque cantatas and operas.
Jaroussky was inspired to sing by the Martinique-born countertenor Fabrice di Falco. He received his diploma from the Early Music Faculty of the Conservatoire de Paris. Since 1996, he has studied singing with Nicole Fallien. He has formed his own ensemble called Artaserse, and also often performs with the Ensemble Matheus under Jean-Christophe Spinosi and with L’Arpeggiata under Christina Pluhar.
According to La Terrasse, “this young singer with the tone of an angel and the virtuosity of the devil has come into the limelight in only a few years as the great new French vocal talent.” He received the 2007 best French lyrical artist award. Jaroussky was awarded “The Best Singer of the Year” at the Echo Classic Awards, 2008.