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The French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who was born in 1957 in Lyon, studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvonne Loriod and with Maria Curcio in London. He also participated in the seminars in analysis led by Pierre Bou-lez at IRCAM in Paris and took courses with György Kurtág in Budapest. Since winning the Messiaen Prize in Royan in 1973, he has been regarded as the authoritative interpreter of this composer’s works. When Boulez founded the Ensemble intercontemporain in 1976, he appointed Aimard as its solo pianist. Aimard has given the world premieres of many significant compositions since then, including Répons by Boulez, several of György Ligeti’s Etudes, and Harrison Birtwistle’s piano concerto Responses. At the same time, he has consistently performed the “traditional” repertoire as a soloist and chamber musician, which he presents in carefully thoughtout programs with unusual dramaturgical contexts. Aimard was the 2007 LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s “artiste étoile”; he has also had residencies with the Berlin Philharmonic and at the Vienna Konzerthaus, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Tanglewood Festival, and the Southbank Centre in London. From 2009 to 2016, he served as Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival. In the past season, Aimard gave recitals in Tokyo, Beijing, Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York, Paris, and Vienna, as well as at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and he undertook a European tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. He has won many prizes, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2017; his recording of Bach’s Art of the Fugue received the Diapason d’or and the Choc du Monde de la Musique. His most recent release, which appeared this spring, is a complete recording of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux. Aimard is a professor at the Music Academy of Cologne.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1979 in Oiseaux exotiques by Messiaen, with Miltiades Caridis conducting the Swiss Festival Orchestra.