Widely acknowledged as a key figure in the music of our time as well as a leading interpreter of the standard piano repertoire, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally-celebrated career that transcends traditional boundaries. 2018 recipient of the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, Aimard champions music of all periods, with composers such as Boulez, Ligeti, Kurtág, Messiaen, Benjamin and Carter—among others—having written music especially for him, some in lifelong collaborations.
He performs throughout the world each season with major orchestras under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Eötvös, Sir Simon Rattle and Vladimir Jurowski. He has been invited to curate, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with projects at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, the Lucerne Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, and London’s Southbank Centre. Aimard was the artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 2009 to 2016—his final season was marked by a performance of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux with the concerts programmed from dawn to midnight.
His 18-19 season saw the start of a three year tenure as artist-in-residence at Southbank Centre. Other highlights include recitals in Tokyo, Beijing, Moscow, St Petersburg, Paris, Vienna, New York, and at the new Boulez Saal in Berlin. Orchestral performances include concerts with Boston Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and a European tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra.
His first Deutsche Grammophon release, Bach’s Art of Fugue, received both the Diapason d’Or and Choc du Monde de la Musique awards. In 2005, he received a Grammy award for his recording of Ives’ Concord Sonata and Songs, and his recent recording of Murail and Benjamin with the Bayerischer Rundfunk won the 2017 Gramophone award. He has an exclusive contract with Pentatone records, his first recording being the complete Catalogue d’oiseaux released in 2018.
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.