Middlebury

Master concert pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard offers a recital of classic and modern fare Oct. 14

October 3, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-A master of both contemporary and classic piano repertoire, Pierre-Laurent Aimard will grace the Middlebury College concert stage with a recital of Beethoven and Mozart, along with Ravel and Messiaen, beginning at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Photo by Guy Vivien

Acclaimed for his command of the classics, yet steeped in the study of 20th century composers, Aimard will offer a program that spans the breadth of both genres. Among the selections for the evening are sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven, Chopin's "Barcarolle" and "Polonaise Fantaisie," Messiaen's "La Chouette Hulotte" and "L'Alouette Lulu," and Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit."
Of all the performances he attended last year, New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini chose Aimard's Zankel Hall recital as one of his two favorite piano recitals.

Born in Lyon, France, in 1957, Aimard studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvone Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. He was hailed at an early age - he won top honors at the 1973 Messiaen Competition - and, at age 19, became the Ensemble InterContemporain's solo pianist. He worked closely for more than 15 years with Gyorgi Ligeti, recording his complete works.  

Aimard plays throughout the world with major orchestras on a regular touring schedule. He is a familiar performer at Carnegie Hall, Konzerthaus Vienna, Philharmonie Cologne and the South Bank Centre in London. Earlier this year, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist Award.

Aimard continues to be a student of music and enjoys sharing his observations and ideas on the connections between music of the past and present. He maintains professorships in Paris and Cologne, and lectures and teaches workshops in the course of his travels.

In a 2002 interview with France's Adante magazine, Aimard discussed his philosophy toward modern music. He spoke of his need "to play things that need to be played," describing how he strives to open new doors with his work. "We have to do our best not only to provide good performances, but to choose repertory and to try to educate the audience," he said.

Aimard is also a prolific recording artist. He has recorded most recently for Teldec/Warner Classics. He received an ECHO Classics Award in 2003 for his recording of the complete Beethoven piano concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and another in 2004 for a Debussy recording. His projects for 2005-2006 include a solo recital disc of works by Ravel, Carter and Schumann, and another of the Mozart piano concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

His recital at Middlebury is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.

Reserved seating tickets for the performance are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. A pre-performance dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts. Reservations are required. For tickets or dinner reservations, call the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433. Online tickets and information are available at www.middlebury.edu/arts