Iconoclast French pianist makes highly-anticipated Union debut

Publication Date

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs on Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

The legendary French pianist and pioneering programmer offers a program featuring a continuous first half of Nikolai Obukhov’s Création d’or and Révelations; Liszt’s Nuages gris and Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este, Messiaen’s Le courlis cendré, and Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5, Op. 53. Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata, Op. 106 fills out the program on the second half.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard has been invited to curate, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with projects at Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Tanglewood Festival and London’s Southbank Centre. Aimard was the artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 2009 to 2016. He continues his lifelong association with the music of Messiaen, performing his works in Switzerland, Cambridge, London, The Netherlands, Montreal, Munich, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Ravinia.

Aimard has had close collaborations with many leading composers including Kurtág, Stockhausen, Carter, Boulez, George Benjamin, and Ligeti. Most recently he performed the world premiere of piano works by Kurtág at a celebration of the composer’s 90th birthday. Recent seasons have included the world premieres of Harrison Birtwistle’s piano concerto Responses; Sweet disorder and the carefully careless, as well as Carter’s last piece Epigrams for piano, cello and violin, which was written for Aimard. He has been honored with a Grammy award in 2005 for his recording of Ives’ Concord Sonata and Songs and he was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik Honorary Prize in 2009.

Individual tickets are $30. All students are free.