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, Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Eötvös, Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Chailly. He has been invited to create, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with projects at Carnegie Hall, New York's Lincoln Center, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Berlin's Philharmonie, the Lucerne Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Tanglewood Festival and London's Southbank Centre. Aimard is also the Artistic Director of the prestigious and historic 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.
Pierre-Laurent will be Artist-in-Residence with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for the 2015-16 Season, performing all of the Beethoven piano concertos under the baton of Philippe Jordan. He remains committed to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries with a major Stockhausen project for Musica Viva in Munich followed by concerts in Paris and Amsterdam, and a performance of Lachenmann’s Ausklang in Luxembourg. Other highlights include solo recitals in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo and London
Born in Lyon in 1957, Pierre-Laurent Aimard 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.
Aimard has had close collaborations with many leading composers including György Kurtag, Stockhausen, Carter, Pierre Boulez and George Benjamin and had a long association with 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 numerous series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music of all periods. During the 2008/2009 season Aimard was an Associate Professor at the College de France, Paris and he is a member of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste. 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. 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 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 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 Wohl Tempered Klavier Book 1, which was released in 2014.