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June 8, 2015
Pierre-Laurent Aimard Returns to Aldeburgh Festival as Artistic Director

Pierre-Laurent Aimard leads the 2015 Aldeburgh Festival this month in his seventh season as Artistic Director. His performances at the annual event, which runs this year from June 12 through 28, include two orchestral appearances, both under the baton of George Benjamin, who serves as this year’s Artist in Residence. First he joins the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for Ravel’s Concerto for Ravel's Piano in G Major on June 13, and later in the month he presents Ligeti’s Piano Concerto on June 25 along with the London Sinfonietta.

Aimard gives a performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with Quatuor Mosaïques on June 15 followed by two other chamber music appearances: Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye for four hands with George Benjamin in a late-evening concert on June 20 as well as Elliott Carter’s final work Epigrams and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time at Blythburg Church on June 21 alongside clarinetist Mark Simpson, violinist Isabelle Faust, and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. He rounds out this summer’s offerings with a return to Bach, presenting selections from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Art of Fugue as well as selections from Kurtág’s playful miniatures Játékok in a solo recital on June 27.

Other highlights of this summer’s festival include the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s chamber opera The Cure in a double bill with his 2009 piece The Corridor; a multi-faceted exploration of Benjamin Britten’s only full-length ballet score, The Prince of the Pagodas; a multi-day celebration of Pierre Boulez at 90; and additional artists and ensembles in residence that include John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir, the Doric Quartet, Quatuor Diotima, Alice Coote, Isabelle Faust, and Andreas Scholl.

Find tickets and more information about the 2015 Aldeburgh Festival here.

May 28, 2015
Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Ruhr Piano Festival launch English Version of "Explore The Score" in Celebration of Ligeti's Birthday

György Ligeti was born on this day, 28 May, in 1923. To coincide with what would have been his 92nd birthday, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the Ruhr Piano Festival have launched the first installment of a new online initiative dedicated to the late Hungarian composer’s piano music described by France’s Diapason as a website “unprecedented in its scale."

“Explore the Score” – the new interactive website created/developed by Ruhr Piano Festival – aims to bring Ligeti’s music to a wider international audience and to encourage pianists to engage intensively with it. The site - which is available for free in both German and English - offers musicians and music-lovers across the world unique access to the composer’s thoughts on performance and interpretation. Central to this innovative venture is the creation of an interactive component which enables users to explore its inner workings of the music, allowing the viewer to follow the score as Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays key pieces from Ligeti’s collection of Études and Musica Ricercata.

It is well known how demanding György Ligeti was, not only of himself but also of his interpreters. His intensive collaboration with Aimard began in the mid-1980s and lasted until the composer’s death in 2006, leaving Aimard with a unique insight into the composer’s wishes and extraordinary stories behind the music. Ligeti also acknowledged that the virtuoso French pianist inspired some of his most complex Études and he dedicated two of them expressly to Aimard.

Heralding the launch of the new website the UK’s Independent on Sunday wrote: "Where to begin with Pierre-Laurent Aimard? No other pianist comes near this mercurial 58-year-old Frenchman, either in terms of musical versatility or sheer, scattergun productivity … Aimard provides illuminating commentaries on the pieces, including an account of how the “Devil’s Staircase” was conceived as Ligeti found himself pedaling uphill during a violent storm. “The wish of Ligeti was to feel this immense effort, to feel the useless effort, the effort in vain. And he really wants the interpreter to share with the listener his own fight in trying to play it. Ligeti was extreme, his compositions are extreme, and we have to be extreme."

The first installment of Explore the Score is launched this week and will be followed during the course of the year with additional scores and new content.

May 7, 2015
Pierre-Laurent Aimard Tours Europe with Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen

Pierre-Laurent Aimard joins London's Philharmonia Orchestra and its principal conductor and artistic advisor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, on tour in late May to London, Paris, Luxembourg, and Vienna. At the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Royal Festival Hall on May 27 and 28, respectively, he is soloist in Messiaen’s gargantuan Turangalîla Symphony, inspired the by myth of Tristan and Isolde. Stops at the Philharmonie Luxembourg on June 1 and Wiener Konzerthaus on June 2 feature Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand.