Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard Joins Orchestras of Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland in Impressive Three-Week Run

November 15 Recital at New York’s Alice Tully Hall features works by George Benjamin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mozart and Beethoven

Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s 2009-10 season is, as has become the norm for the French pianist, conductor, and impresario, replete with engagements all over the world. He performs in major cities and at festivals in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., often conducting from the keyboard. This season he plays recitals in New York, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere; performs concertos with Pierre Boulez and James Levine in Chicago and Boston; and leads such ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Aimard began the season with two tours – one leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Frankfurt, Bonn, Baden-Baden, and Paris; the other as piano partner of German baritone Matthias Goerne. The two performed in Japan, where Aimard also gave concerts with the Bamberg Symphony, with which he often tours in the U.S. and Europe as well.

On November 15, Aimard makes his first American appearance of the new season, at the recently renovated Alice Tully Hall, performing works by George Benjamin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mozart, and Beethoven, four composers whose compositions appear on Aimiard’s recital programs throughout the season in ever-varying combinations. Mozart’s early D-major Sonata opens the program, followed by Benjamin’s Piano Figures and Stockhausen’s Klavierstück IX. Beethoven’s sonata-length “Eroica Variations” closes the program.

Aimard’s presence in the U.S. this season is extensive. He helps to celebrate his friend and colleague Pierre Boulez’s 85th birthday in a special tribute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and during the same week he appears in three subscription concerts with the CSO under the Maestro, playing Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos. Again with Boulez, this time at the helm of the Cleveland Orchestra, Aimard performs Ravel’s piano concertos, which he and Boulez are recording together in Cleveland for Deutsche Grammophon. And Aimard performs with the Boston Symphony under its music director, James Levine, playing not only Elliott Carter’s Dialogues for piano and orchestra, but also Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.

Two of these programs, those of Chicago and Boston, will come to Carnegie Hall. On January 31, Aimard will perform Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos with pianist Tamara Stefanovich and the Chicago Symphony conducted by Boulez. The following night, on February 1, Aimard will perform Carter’s Dialogues and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with the Boston Symphony under James Levine. The next morning, Aimard will leave for Cleveland, where he will perform and record both Ravel Concertos with Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra on February 4, 6, and 7.

The indefatigable pianist devotes most of his season to solo recitals in Europe, with works by Chopin, Ravel, Debussy, and Liszt alternating with those by Beethoven, Benjamin, Mozart, and Stockhausen. With orchestra, besides performing Bartók and Ravel in the U.S., Aimard will play Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto in Berlin and in Corunna, Spain.

Having partnered German baritone Matthias Goerne in Japan in late summer 2009, Aimard will perform all three of Schubert’s great song-cycles – Winterreise, Die schöne Müllerin, and Schwanengesang – with Goerne in three consecutive recitals in Lisbon in mid-May. His final orchestral concerts of the season consist of a series with the London Symphony Orchestra, at London’s Barbican Hall and in Madrid, followed by the resumption of his duties at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, where, on June 12, Aimard conducts the Britten Sinfonia at its home on the Eastern Coast of England.

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