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Pierre-Laurent Aimard Plays Beethoven’s “Emperor” with Concertgebouw Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and in Naples, FL (Feb 9-15)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard returns to the States next month to headline the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s upcoming U.S. tour, with accounts of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto in Naples, FL (Feb 9), at Washington’s Kennedy Center (Feb 13), and on the mainstage of New York’s Carnegie Hall (Feb 15). Led by Daniel Harding, these concerts follow the Grammy Award-winning French pianist’s recent series of U.S. duo recitals with Tamara Stefanovich, which made annual top-ten lists in both the Washington Classical Review and Chicago Tribune, and prompted Musical America to marvel at the pianists’ “jaw-dropping virtuosity, infused with that ineffable quality that raises less than one-in-a-hundred musical experiences into the realm of the sublime.”

Although best known as a key figure in the music of our time, Aimard is also a leading interpreter of more traditional piano repertoire. He enjoys a long association with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as illustrated by the enduring success of their benchmark 2004 Dvořák recording under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who also partnered the pianist on his live Beethoven cycle a year earlier. This impressed BBC Music magazine, which found Aimard’s performance to have “intelligence, a sense of theatrical drama, and real curiosity.” Fanfare declared: “This Fifth can hold its own with the best recorded performances,” and Gramophone agreed:

“The freshness of this set is remarkable. … I warm to it not only for the boldness of its answers but for finding so many of the right questions to ask. … I need to single out the finale of the Emperor, which tingles with a continuously vital, constantly modulated dynamic life that it too rarely receives.”

The upcoming tour crowns Aimard’s tenure as the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence. Later this spring, this sees him play chamber music with members of the orchestra and pair Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques with the Dutch premiere of Birtwistle’s Responses under Vladmir Jurowski (June 14 & 15). Spring also takes Aimard to California, where he joins the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas for Ligeti’s Concerto (May 9–11), before giving a complete account of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at LA’s Disney Hall (May 12). Both composers are among those on whose music Aimard has most decisively made his mark. His recording of Bach’s Art of Fugue topped both the Billboard and iTunes classical charts, while Ligeti, with whom he shared an intimate working relationship until the Hungarian composer’s death, considered him “today’s leading interpreter of contemporary piano music.”

High-resolution photos may be downloaded here.


Pierre-Laurent Aimard: upcoming U.S. engagements

Feb 9–15: tour with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (as Artist-in-Residence) / Daniel Harding
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)
Feb 9: Naples, FL
Feb 13: Washington, DC (Kennedy Center)
Feb 15: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall) 

May 9-11
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas
LIGETI: Concerto for Piano 

May 12
Los Angeles, CA
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles Philharmonic presents
BACH: Goldberg Variations, BWV 998

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© 21C Media Group, January 2019

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