Home > Artists > Pierre-Laurent Aimard


Artistic Director: Aldeburgh Festival


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. He is Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival and was Artistic Adviser to ‘Exquisite Labyrinth’ – the festival of Boulez’s music at London’s Southbank Centre. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Aimard’s latest recording is the complete Debussy Préludes released in the composer’s anniversary year.

The short biography displayed on this page is for information only. For concert programmes and promotional materials please use the downloadable versions.


"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)

“An extraordinary concert of French two-piano repertoire…went off like a crate of ammunition. Its climax was a shattering account by Pierre-Laurent Aimard with Tamara Stefanovich of Messiaen’s epic 'Visions de l’Amen’. Magnificently played with thrilling if exhausting fervour, this was one of the most memorable Aldeburgh Festival experiences.” (Michael White, New York Times, June 2014)

“Aimard instinctively found the poetry and the drama, realising infinite colours and capturing the essentials of each composer’s style as well as illuminating subtle connections in craft and principle.” (Rian Evans, The Guardian, June 2014)

“Aimard’s own performance style - intense and unshowy, but unfailingly generous - fits well at Aldeburgh, where concerts are designed to be more than simply platforms for delivery.” (Laura Battle, Financial Times, May 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)