The French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard was born in Lyon in 1957 and studied in his home city and at the Paris Conservatoire; his mentors included Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen (both of whose music he has championed throughout his career) and Yvonne Loriod. Aimard is particularly associated with contemporary music, and was a founder member of Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain, with whom he has recorded music by Schoenberg, Berio, Webern, Ligeti and Boulez himself (including a Grammy-winning account of ... explosante-fixe… in 1996.
His discography also includes Messiaen’s Catalogue des Oiseaux, Turangalîla Symphony and Vingt Regards, the Ravel Piano Concertos, and a set of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which was Gramophone’s Recording of the Year in 1992.
Aimard is married to the pianist Tamara Stefanovich, with whom he frequently performs; he was appointed Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival in 2009, and performed Catalogue des Oiseaux al fresco there over an 18-hour period in 2016 in what The Guardian[i/] described as ‘an extraordinary feat of concentration…[and] astonishing virtuosity’.
Further Reading: Pierre-Laurent Aimard
The French pianist talks to Katherine about his relationship with Catalogue d'oiseaux, which he recently recorded for Pentatone.
David enjoys Pierre-Laurent Aimard's performance of Book One of the Well-Tempered Clavier of JS Bach.