Visiting Professor of Music
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 performs throughout the world each season with major orchestras under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Peter Eötvös. He has been invited to create, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with recent venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wiener Konzerthaus, Berliner Philharmonie, Opéra de Paris, Lucerne Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Cité de la Musique and Southbank Centre - where he is Artistic Advisor to a festival celebrating the music of Pierre Boulez.
He is also the Artistic Director of the prestigious and historic Aldeburgh Festival where he has just signed for another three years. Commenting on his directorship, the Financial Times wrote: “Aimard virtually turned the festival on its head. Suddenly Aldeburgh feels less parochial, less precious – and very international.”
Highlights of the 2011/12 season include solo recitals in Berlin, London, New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo. He will make concerto appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Simon Rattle and with the Cleveland and Chicago Symphony orchestras conducted by Pierre Boulez. He also regularly directs concerts from the keyboard with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
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 first prize in the 1973 Messiaen Competition at the age of 16 and being appointed, three years later, by Pierre Boulez to become the Ensemble intercontemporain's first solo pianist.
He has had close collaborations with many leading composers including Kurtag, Stockhausen, Elliot Carter, Pierre Boulez and George Benjamin and had a long association with György Ligeti, recording his complete works for piano. Through professorships at the Hochschule Köln and Conservatoire de Paris, as well as numerous series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music of all periods. During 2009 Aimard was invited to give a series of classes and seminars at the College de France, Paris. He was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America in 2007.
Pierre-Laurent now records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. His first DG 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 Classic Awards, most recently in 2009 for his recording of solo piano pieces, “Hommage à Messiaen” and was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik “Honorary Prize” the same year. His recording of Ives’s Concord Sonata and Songs received a Grammy award in 2005 and several other recordings have received Grammy nominations. Autumn 2011 will see the release of ‘The Liszt Project’, two solo discs featuring the music of Liszt alongside the music of Berg, Bartok, Ravel, Scriabin and Messiaen as well as a work by Marco Stroppa.