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 Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Eötvös, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 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.
Current and future highlights include solo recitals in London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna, Beijing and Amsterdam and concerto appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He also regularly directs concerts from the keyboard with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In Autumn 2014 he will join the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich to give the world premiere of a Piano Concerto by Harrison Birtwistle, in his 80th year, with further performances in Porto, London and Boston. In Spring 2015 he will undertake a recital tour with Tamara Stefanovich playing all of Boulez’s completed works for piano in celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday.
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 Kurtag, Stockhausen, Carter, Pierre Boulez and George Benjamin and had a long association with György Ligeti, recording his complete works for piano. Most recently he performed the world premiere of Tristan Murail’s piano concerto 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 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. In 2015 he will launch 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 and Vincent Meyer.
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 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 – are now joined by a new recording of Bach’s Wohl Tempered Klavier Book 1, which was released in the summer of 2014.