“One of the most brilliant and distinctive pianists before the public today.” — Boston GlobeReturning to the U.S. to resume two of his closest partnerships with American orchestras, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Bartók with the Cleveland Orchestra (February 16-18) and Schoenberg with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (February 24-March 3). Both runs will feature Aimard with one of his most frequent collaborators: conductor Pierre Boulez. Aimard's extended stateside visit – which will also include a nationwide recital tour in March and April – comes as the French pianist has enjoyed a winter of international accolades for his latest Deutsche Grammophon album, The Liszt Project. Aimard marked last year's bicentennial of the great composer-pianist's birth with this double album that features more than two hours of music not only by Liszt but by composers who influenced him and were influenced by him, from Wagner to Messiaen. New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini declared that "Pierre-Laurent Aimard has an ingenious knack for juxtaposing old and new works to tease out fascinating resonances." The Liszt Project was honored as one of 2011's best recordings by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the UK's Independent, among others.
With nearly 2 hours of music, The Liszt Project continues to astound not only with just how beautiful the music of Liszt is 200 years after his birth, but how completely immersed he was in the multitude of styles of the day, capturing a sense of what other great composers felt -- Liszt commanded it all. Pierre-Laurent Aimard not just combines these great works with stunning performances, but brings a fresh look at timeless music. - Interchanging Idioms
With the Cleveland Orchestra and Boulez on February 16-18, Aimard will play Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 1, an early 20th-century marvel of neo-Baroque counterpoint, percussive textures and ear-tweaking dissonances – fertile ground for Aimard and Boulez, each masters of Bartók’s idiom. Aimard and Boulez are also frequent collaborators on recordings, including Aimard’s most recent orchestral CD on Deutsche Grammophon, Ravel’s Piano Concertos, with Boulez leading the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2009 Boulez and Aimard teamed up for a recording of Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra as well.
On February 24-28, Aimard will join Boulez, soprano Kiera Duffy and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire, with the performances marking the 100th anniversary of the premiere of the landmark melodrama. Aimard will then perform Schoenberg's Piano Concerto with Boulez and the Chicagoans on March 1-3. From March 22 to 27, Aimard's four-date U.S. tour of solo Debussy, Schumann and Kurtág will see him perform his first recitals in Denver and Santa Barbara, along with dates in Detroit and San Francisco. On April 21 and 22 he returns to New York for recitals at Lincoln Center showcasing repertoire from The Liszt Project.