Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Piano

“This is manifestly a great work, and Aimard’s stupendous technique, remorseless energy and fanatical…passion, were wondrous to encounter.” (The Times, Paul Driver, April 2016)

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Tracy Lees +44 (0)20 3725 9119
Katie MacDonald +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Biography

 

 

Performing throughout the world each season with the most significant orchestras and conductors, current and future highlights include solo recitals in London, New York, Chicago, Paris and Tokyo. Aimard’s concerto performances include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker,Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the New York Philharmonic.

 

 

Performing throughout the world each season with the most significant orchestras and conductors, current and future highlights include solo recitals in London, New York, Chicago, Paris and Tokyo. Aimard’s concerto performances include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the New York Philharmonic.

In recent seasons Aimard has been invited by Carnegie Hall, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Paris's Cité de la Musique to devise and perform in ground-breaking residencies. Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival for 7 years he was also Artistic Adviser to ‘Exquisite Labyrinth’ – the festival of Boulez’s music at London’s Southbank Centre. He has made many prize-winning recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.

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Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Tracy Lees +44 (0)20 3725 9119
Katie MacDonald +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Reviews

“He powered his way through it with a combination of commitment and deep sincerity, breathtakingly realising the sensuousness with which Messiaen conveys his metaphysical vision. A devotional serenity pervaded both the opening Regard du Père and the penultimate Je Dors, Mais Mon Coeur Veille, … Towards the end, Aimard seemed not so much to be playing the music as living it. … The final phrases plunged into an awestruck silence that seemed to last forever before the applause began.” (Guardian, Tim Ashley, April 2016)

“This is manifestly a great work, and Aimard’s stupendous technique, remorseless energy and fanatical…passion, were wondrous to encounter.” (The Times, Paul Driver, April 2016)

“Pierre-Laurent Aimard was the unfussily stylish soloist in Couleurs de la cité celeste. … Beautifully voiced brass chorales were punctuated here by coruscating solos from Aimard.” (The Arts Desk, April 2016)

“He powered his way through it with a combination of commitment and deep sincerity, breathtakingly realising the sensuousness with which Messiaen conveys his metaphysical vision. A devotional serenity pervaded both the opening Regard du Père and the penultimate Je Dors, Mais Mon Coeur Veille, … Towards the end, Aimard seemed not so much to be playing the music as living it. … The final phrases plunged into an awestruck silence that seemed to last forever before the applause began.” (Guardian, Tim Ashley, April 2016)

“This is manifestly a great work, and Aimard’s stupendous technique, remorseless energy and fanatical…passion, were wondrous to encounter.” (The Times, Paul Driver, April 2016)

“Pierre-Laurent Aimard was the unfussily stylish soloist in Couleurs de la cité celeste. … Beautifully voiced brass chorales were punctuated here by coruscating solos from Aimard.” (The Arts Desk, April 2016)

“Aimard has a level of command and understanding to which resistance is futile. … With its extravagant imagery and hallucinatory narrative, this had been the musical equivalent of the Book of Revelation, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard was its high priest.” (Classical Source, April 2016)

“Yet the even more intense experience came with Ligeti’s Piano Concerto, with the festival’s artistic director Pierre-Laurent Aimard as the formidable soloist. Every facet of this score emerged with the utmost clarity and immediacy: its tantalising polyrhythms, its luminosity, its haunting quality, and finally, its hell-for-leather finale.” (Rian Evans, The Guardian, June 2015)

“Chiselled and glittering, Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s piano cascades and avian flights knocked us sideways.” [Turangalîla] (Geoff Brown, The Times, June 2015)

“It was hard to imagine Ravel’s wrist-wrecking and finger-crunching solo part being better played than this.” (The Guardian, February 2015)

“What Aimard expresses with the music has an incredible human depth, and yet his interpretations are far from being over emotional. Everything is solely about the music. There is nothing extraneous or strange in style. There are many standard-setting recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, including exaggerated interpretations such as that by Glenn Gould. With his blend of accuracy, emotion and style of touch, Aimard has created a new benchmark recording which you should be aware of.” (NDR Radio, CD of the week, August 2014)

“The end result is as beautiful as it is remarkable. Suddenly it seems as if the Etudes by Ligeti are not far off when Aimard plays Bach’s preludes and fugues … ” (Klassike Zaken, August 2014)

“… Aimard has clearly thought deeply about the collection’s kaleidoscopic structure … The F sharp minor fugue is a mysterious wonder, as if the music were feeling its way in the dark; the G major prelude sparkles with gaiety.” (The Times, August 2014)

“… With his 2008 CD “The Art of the Fugue” he has already proved himself as a connoisseur of Bach. But with this recording he goes one step further … He seems to forget himself in the lucid sound world in which he serves only as a mediator to the music, deferring to Bach as its creator.” (Musikwoche.de, August 2014)

“Here is a master of the piano at work.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 2014)

“Pierre-Laurent Aimard is one of those pianists who exposes the risks and strains of performing Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier in the concert hall … Anyone who knows the work, which contains 24 pairs of preludes and fugues in all keys, also knows that it creates a spiritual space for the listener as well. And two hours of sitting still in the Mozarteum was also something of a cleansing ritual. Of course, the success of the performance, depends first and formost on the quasi-mountaineering skills of the pianist … There are so many approaches to this iconic work of Bach, starting with the legends of Sviatoslav Richter and Friedrich Gulda followed by the youngsters Till Fellner and Martin Stadtfeld. But Pierre-Laurent found his own new voice.” (Salzburger Nachrichten, July 2014)

“In the development (of the fugues) Aimard understands how to let the world hold its breath. Space and time merge into moments of pure happiness.” (Der Standard, July 2014)

“Aimard plays it his way: with a lot of humility and very little ego. His approach is wonderfully unpretentious and very close to the score …  Lucid. Clear. Compelling.” (Frankfurter Rundschau, July 2014)

“[Tamara] Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard [gave] a truly heaven-storming performance of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen. Dervishes whirling in Turkey could not create a more dizzying vision of religious ecstasy than this. Every Aldeburgh Festival seems to have one stunning performance in the opening weekend. For 2014, this was it.” (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, June 2014)

“Gyorgy Ligeti dedicated several of his piano Etudes to Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the great French pianist whose interpretations of these wonderful pieces remain definitive. This solo Queen's Hall recital was the last of his three concerts at the Festival; together they brought home Aimard's extraordinary breadth, diligence, fearless physical stamina and (above all) musical integrity. His playing can be technically ferocious and expressively flamboyant, but there's nothing remotely showy in what he does: it's always about the music, never about Aimard himself.” (Kate Molleson, The Herald, August 2013)

“Pierre-Laurent Aimard's account of the Ravel concerto was extraordinary, too. He used a handsome Erard piano that had a crisply defined tone, especially in the lower registers, which enabled him to profile the solo line against Ravel's orchestration with ease, while the textures around him, not least the Jurassic murmurings, with which the work opens, acquired a new clarity” (The Guardian, June 2012)

“…the piano’s distinctive woody resonance and clear bass register…was exploited by Aimard’s wonderfully taut playing…Aimard found two distinct levels of timbre for his cadenza, so that it sounded as thought the piano were accompanying itself” (The Times, 12 June 2012)

“Following Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s concert one understands the difference between a good pianist and a great one: the former works from the musical score alone while the latter plays with paradigms of culture” (Kommersant, January 2012)

“Liszt's "Les jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este" [was] followed by Ravel's lovely reworking of the idea, Aimard creating textures of dazzling beauty.” (The Independent, November 2011)

“Aimard has thought long and hard about what makes Liszt’s piano music so original and follows it down paths that lead to composers of widely disparate styles – an imaginative way to mark the anniversary for a musician who might not otherwise be thought an obvious Liszt interpreter. The Liszt pieces were thoughtfully chosen. [Aimard] made sure his tribute to the anniversary had its own story to tell. Liszt, after all, was a thinker, too.” (Financial Times, November 2011)

“Crisply voiced, transparent, expertly weighted in its slow-blooming, melancholy beauty, Tuesday's exercise in time travel and shared textures betrayed a sense that, for Aimard, the interest shown in Liszt by the living composers he most respects had persuaded him into territory he would otherwise not explore.” (The Independent, November 2011)

“Aimard is a master of fine gradations of colour and weight, as was shown in Liszt’s Aux cyprès and Bartók’s Dirge, which had a similar huge melancholy weightiness. At the opposite end of the colour spectrum was the light and glitter of Liszt’s St Francis, echoed in a recent piece evoking flight by Marco Stroppa, and later by Messiaen’s Le Traquet stapazin.” (The Telegraph, Nov 2011)