Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a uniquely significant interpreter of piano repertoire from every age, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally celebrated career.

He regularly performs throughout the world with major orchestras and conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Eötvös, Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Chailly. He has been invited to create, direct and perform in a number of residencies. Aimard is also the Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival – commenting on his directorship, “The Guardian” wrote: “Aimard has ensured that the provincialism Britten himself dreaded has no place here … it reassures music-lovers in search of seriousness and quality.”

In the 2015/16 season Pierre-Laurent is Artist-in-Residence with Wiener Symphoniker and will perform all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos under the baton of Philippe Jordan. He remains committed to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries with a major Karlheinz Stockhausen project for musica viva in Munich followed by concerts in Paris and Amsterdam, and a performance of Helmut Lachenmann’s “Ausklang” in Luxembourg. Other highlights include solo recitals in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo and London.

Born in Lyon in 1957, Pierre-Laurent studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. Early career landmarks included winning the 1973 Olivier Messiaen-Competition at the age of 16 and being appointed three years later by Pierre Boulez as Ensemble intercontemporain’s first solo pianist.

Pierre-Laurent has had close collaborations with many leading composers including György Kurtág, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, and George Benjamin, and had a long association with György Ligeti, recording his complete works for piano. Most recently he performed the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s “Responses; Sweet disorder and the carefully careless”, as well as Carter’s last piece “Epigrams” for piano, cello and violin, which was written for Pierre-Laurent and premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2013. Through his professorship at the Hochschule Köln, as well as lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music of all periods. During the 2008/09 season he was an Associate Professor at the College de France in Paris and he is a member of Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste. He received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named as Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2007. In 2015 he launched a major online resource centred on the performance and teaching of Ligeti’s piano music with filmed masterclasses and performances of the “Etudes” and other works by Ligeti in collaboration with Klavier-Festival Ruhr. (www.explorethescore.org)

Pierre-Laurent has made many highly successful recordings. His first Deutsche Grammophon release, Bach’s “Art of Fugue”, received both the Diapason d’Or and Choc du Monde de la Musique awards, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s classical chart and topped iTunes’ classical album download chart. In recent years Pierre-Laurent has been honoured with ECHO Klassik Awards, most recently in 2009 for his recording of solo piano pieces, “Hommage à Messiaen”, a Grammy award in 2005 for his recording of Ives’ “Concord Sonata and Songs” and he was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik Honorary Prize in 2009. Further releases for DG – of “The Liszt Project” in 2011 and Debussy “Préludes” in 2012 – were joined by a new recording of Bach’s “Wohltemperiertes Klavier I”, which was released in 2014.


As of October 2020

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

© Marco Borggreve

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