Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a leading interpreter of the standard piano repertoire, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally celebrated career which transcends traditional boundaries.
Performing throughout the world each season with its most significant orchestras and conductors, Pierre-Laurent Aimard has also in recent seasons been invited by Carnegie Hall, New York; Konzerthaus Vienna; Berlin Philharmonic; Palais Garnier / Opera de Paris; Lucerne Festival; Mozarteum Salzburg; the Cleveland Orchestra and Cité de la Musique, Paris to devise groundbreaking "carte blanche" and residential projects, performing himself within chamber music, lieder, solo piano and orchestral programmes. In 2008 he is Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre's Messiaen centenary festival in London; and from 2009, he assumes the title of Artistic Director at the Aldeburgh festival, while continuing as Artistic Partner with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2008/09 season include the world premiere of George Benjamin's Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst at the Lucerne Festival; and with further performances in Cleveland, at Carnegie Hall New York and with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris. Pierre-Laurent will also perform Bartok's three piano concerti with the Bamberg Symphony and Jonathan Nott, including at Lincoln Center, New York. So far he has toured Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic/ Sir Simon Rattle to the Salzburg and BBC Proms festivals as well as to the Berlin Festival. He has played and directed the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in all five Beethoven piano concerti throughout Europe.
Through professorships at the Hochschule Köln and Conservatoire de Paris, as well as series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music from all periods. In 2009 Mr. Aimard will give a series of classes and seminars at the College de France. He was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named by Musical America Instrumentalist of the Year 2007.
Born in Lyon, France 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, and being appointed at the age of 19 by Pierre Boulez to become the Ensemble InterContemporain's first solo pianist. For more than 15 years Aimard collaborated closely with György Ligeti, recording his complete works.
In recent years Pierre-Laurent Aimard has been honoured with ECHO Classic Awards, both in 2003 for his recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt; and in 2004 for his Debussy Images and Etudes. Aimard’s recording of Ives’s Concord Sonata and Songs with Susan Graham was a Grammy Award winner in 2005. Additional releases in recent years include recital discs of Ravel, Carter and Schumann; while Mozart Piano Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, directed from the keyboard by Aimard, have been hailed as “one of the most exquisite Mozart recordings of all time” (Wolfram Goertz, Die Zeit, 13 October, 2005.).