Born in Lyon, France in 1957, Pierre-Laurent Aimard studied at the Paris Conservatory with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. He won first prize in the 1973 Messiaen Competition and three years later was appointed Ensemble Intercontemporain’s first solo pianist by Pierre Boulez. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1992 performing Ligeti’s Piano Concerto.
This season, Mr. Aimard continues his three-year residency at Southbank Centre, curating an entire weekend dedicated to the music of Stockhausen. He later takes his Stockhausen project to the Lucerne and Berlin festivals. As Artist-in-Residence at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra this season, Mr. Aimard tours to Washington Center for the Performing Arts and to Naples, FL. He is also in residence at the Edinburgh International Festival and Konzerthaus Vienna. Other highlights include recitals at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Messiaen’s complete Catalogue d’oiseaux in Frankfurt, and performances of the Goldberg Variations at Philharmonie de Paris, Auditorium de Lyon, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, and at the Palais des Beaux Arts where he is Portrait Artist this season. A recital tour with pianist Tamara Stefanovich, dedicated to classical modernism and centered on the US premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Keyboard Engine, composed for the duo, includes performances at Carnegie Hall and in Chicago. Orchestral performances include concerts at Teatro alla Scala with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Czech Philharmonic, and a tour of Germany and Belgium with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In 2017, Mr. Aimard became an exclusive Pentatone recording artist. His first recording of the complete Catalogue d’oiseaux, released in spring 2018, has received multiple awards including the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. His recent Elliott Carter recording earned the BBC Music Magazine Jury Award in 2018. He received a Grammy award in 2005 for his recording of Ives’s Concord Sonata and he was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik Honorary Prize in 2009. His recent recording of works by Tristan Murail and George Benjamin with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra won the 2017 Gramophone Award in the Contemporary Music category.
Mr. Aimard was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005, and he was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America in 2007. In 2017 he was awarded the International Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in recognition of a life devoted to the service of music.