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Biography

Piano

For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed worldwide, recorded more than fifty albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. In the 2019–20 season, he renews many longstanding musical partnerships: As the Saint Louis Symphony’s Artist-in-Residence, he plays concerts conducted by longtime friend and collaborator Stéphane Denève. He also performs a program of Schumann, Fauré, Debussy, and Enescu on tour with violinist Midori, followed by the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin. Mr. Thibaudet gives the world premiere performances of Aaron Zigman’s Tango Manos, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the China Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Mr. Zigman composed the score for the 2016 film Wakefield, for which Mr. Thibaudet was featured soloist.
 
A noted interpreter of French music, Mr. Thibaudet performs works by Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Guillaume Connesson, and Debussy around the world. He plays Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony with conductor Susanna Mälkki in his hometown, Lyon, France, as Artist-in-Residence of Orchestre National de Lyon. Gershwin is also a focus this season, as Mr. Thibaudet performs the Piano Concerto in F in Lyon, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Naples, Tokyo, and at the Bad Kissinger Sommer Festival, where he is Artist-in-Residence.
 
Mr. Thibaudet’s recordings have received two Grammy nominations, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, and Gramophone awards. In 2017 he released a recording of Bernstein's Age of Anxiety with the Baltimore Symphony and Marin Alsop, with whom he previously recorded an all-Gershwin disc. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie's birth, Decca released a box set of Satie's complete solo piano music performed by Mr. Thibaudet. Other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans.
 
Mr. Thibaudet has also had an impact on the world of fashion, film, and philanthropy. He was soloist in Dario Marianelli’s award-winning scores for the films Atonement (which won an Oscar for Best Original Score) and Pride and Prejudice. He recorded Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack for the 2012 film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and had a cameo in the film Bride of the Wind. His concert wardrobe is designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood. 

Jean-Yves Thibaudet studied at the Paris Conservatory with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves. He received France’s Victoire d’Honneur and was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012. He is the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1994.