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Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)

Born: September 9, 1957 - Lyon, France

The French pianist, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, studied at the Paris Conservatory with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. At the age of 12 he was introduced to Olivier Messiaen and within a few years became the composer’s preferred interpreter. He is widely acclaimed as a key figure in contemporary music, and collaborated closely for more than 15 years with György Ligeti, recording his complete works. He is also celebrated as a leading interpreter of the standard repertoire, and has appeared all over the globe with the world’s major orchestras and conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jonathan Nott, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Franz Welser-Möst. Aimard also gives solo recitals and chamber-music performances, and regularly appears at all the important music festivals. He holds professorships at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and at the Paris Conservatory, and gives lectures and master-classes worldwide.

Biographical Timeline


Wins first prize in the Olivier Messiaen Competition, which launches him on his international career.


Appointed first solo pianist with the Ensemble Intercontemporain by Pierre Boulez; he remains with the ensemble for 18 years.


His recording of Ligeti's Piano Concerto (coupled with the Violin Concerto and Cello Concerto) is released on Deutsche Grammophon and wins the Prix Caecilia (Brussels) in 1994 and the Cannes Classical Award, Edison Prize, and Gramophone Award in 1995.


CD release on the Yellow Label of his recording of Messiaen's Réveil des oiseaux with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez.


His recordings of Anton Webern’s Piano Quintet and Concerto Op. 24 are released in Deutsche Grammophon’s 4-CD set of Anton Webern’s complete works, which is awarded the Prize of the German Record Critics.


Debut recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall to exceptional acclaim.


Echo Award for his recording of the complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt.


Echo Award for his recording of Debussy’s Images and Etudes.


Named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London. Release: Pierre Boulez’s Notations and Structures.


Performs his own seven-concert “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall (2006-2007 season) during which he gives the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s Caténaires. Begins term as pianist-in-residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker and opens his “Carte blanche” series at the Konzerthaus Vienna. Named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America. Digital release of his recording made at the Styriarte Festival of W.A. Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 17 and 18 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.


Joins the roster of artistic partners of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Innovative song and chamber-music recital series at the Palais Garnier in Paris. “Artiste étoile” at the Lucerne Festival. Appears at the London Proms and at Carnegie Hall as soloist and conductor of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Performs at the Ojai Festival in California, of which he is also this year’s artistic director. Further concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine in Berlin, the London Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding at the Barbican, and with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Philippe Jordan. Signs an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon; first recording under the new contract: J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080).


Continues as artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Artistic director of the year-long Messiaen Festival at London’s Southbank Centre and residency at the Cité de la musique in Paris. Artist-in-residence at the Salzburg Mozarteum and with the Cleveland Orchestra during which he gives the world premiere of George Benjamin’s new piano concerto in Lucerne. Tours with Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie in Japan and throughout Europe, J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080) and Messiaen’s J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080). Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra with the London Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez at the Barbican and W.A. Mozart Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Styriarte Festival. His interpretation of J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080), released in January, is highly acclaimed by the critics. Summer sees the release of his equally acclaimed recording of works by Messiaen including the Preludes; in the autumn his contribution to Pierre Boulez’s B. Bartók project - the Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra with the London Symphony Orchestra - is released.


Continues as artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, playing and conducting works ranging from L.v. Beethoven to Stockhausen. European tours playing and conducting L.v. Beethoven concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. European, USA and Japan tours with the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jonathan Nott. Concertos by L.v. Beethoven, Ravel and Benjamin with orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. Vocal recitals with Christine Schäfer in Germany and Matthias Goerne in Japan. Recital & Reading with Alfred Brendel in Vienna. Numerous solo recitals in the USA, Europe and Japan. Festival appearances include Salzburg, Styriarte, Aix-en-Provence, Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Aldeburgh and BBC Proms.


This year’s concerto appearances include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (B. Bartók under Pierre Boulez), Boston Symphony Orchestra (Carter and Ravel under James Levine) in Boston and New York, Cleveland Orchestra (two Ravel concertos under Pierre Boulez, recorded by Deutsche Grammophon), Berliner Philharmoniker (Arnold Schoenberg with Bělohlávek), London Symphony Orchestra (W.A. Mozart under Daniel Harding) in London and Madrid and Concertgebouw (Benjamin under Robertson). Concerts at La Scala with Gustavo Dudamel. Vocal recitals with Matthias Goerne in Brussels, Athens and Lisbon. Recital & Reading with Alfred Brendel in Germany and Vienna. Various solo recital appearances throughout Europe, the USA, Moscow and Tokyo. Festival appearances include Baden-Baden, Ruhr, Styriarte, Lucerne, Aldeburgh, Tanglewood and Music Now in Chicago with Pierre Boulez. Release this year: the Ravel concertos with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez plus Miroirs.

“In his first Bach recording, the superb French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard demonstrates the same intelligent musicianship that has made him a respected performer of contemporary music. His powerful rendition of Bach’s soulful Art of Fugue, both fiery and introspective, illuminates the richness of the counterpoint with potent clarity.” - The New York Times (Novmeber 27, 2008)


More Photos

Source: Deutsche Grammophon Website (March 2010); Wikipedia Website (August 2010)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2010)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (HarrisonParrot)
Warner Classics & Jazz > Classical Artist > Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Deutsche Grammophon: Pierre-Laurent Aimard - Biography

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Wikipedia)
Intermezzo: Pierre Laurent Aimard
Pierre-Laurent Aimard on Facebook

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Last update: ýNovember 24, 2014 ý12:01:27