International Music Day’s Concert
Tuesday, October 1st at 7 p.m.; Estonia Concert Hall
Will be attributed The Music Prize 2002 by Estonian Music Council
Gioachino Rossini – Semiramide Ouverture
Richard Strauss – Burleske for piano and orchestra d minor
An-Lun Huang – Extracts from Saibei Suites no. 1 and no. 2
Béla Bartók – Miraculous mandarin Suite
Soloist: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano, France)
Conductor: EN SHAO (China)
The temptation to pigeonhole artists can be hard to resist. Throughout Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s unique career there are landmarks which might initially invite such a labelling: winning first prize in the 1973 Messiaen Competition and his association with that composer’s music ever since; being appointed at the age of just 19 by Pierre Boulez to become the Ensemble InterContemporain’s solo pianist; Aimard’s extremely close collaboration, since the mid-1980s, with Gyorgi Ligeti, including being chosen by the great composer to record his complete works, and being the dedicatee of several of his Etudes. Pierre-Laurent Aimard is without doubt a key figure in the new music world.
But it has always been a driving force in Aimard’s professional musical life to explore as broad a range as possible of music from different ages and sources. He continually strives to illuminate the importance of historical, musical and cultural contexts as well as influences between composers both within and between generations and centuries. Through his teaching work at the Paris Conservatoire and at the Hochschule in Cologne as well as through an international programme of concert/lectures (an example being, in the 1994/95 season, a series of 8 concert-lectures in Lyon and Paris presenting a panorama of the piano in the 20th century) he sheds a very personal light on music of the past, present and future.
Born in Lyon, France in 1957, Pierre-Laurent Aimard studied at the Paris Conservatoire where he won four first prizes. He had the opportunity to study with Yvonne Loriod and then Maria Curcio. Now Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs throughout the world each season with the most eminent orchestras and conductors, as well as in recital and chamber music programmes in the most prestigious venues. Current invitations include, for example, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago, Boston and London Symphony, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna and London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductors with whom he is collaborating include Pierre Boulez, Myung Whun Chung, Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Christoph Eschenbach, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa Pekka Salonen and Franz Welser-Moest.
Recital projects take place throughout the world’s capital cities, including his much-awaited debut recital at Carnegie Hall, New York in December 2001, and in festivals such as Edinburgh, Salzburg and Lucerne. He also pursues a number of fascinating chamber music projects each year in the company of such partners as Jean-Guihen Queyras, Joseph Silverstein and Tabea Zimmerman.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard has recorded for DGG, Sony, Erato, Wergo, Lyrinx, Teldec amongst others and continues to create and record for the television station Arte a series of films focusing on great composers of the 20th century.
What the Papers Say about Pierre-Laurent Aimard:
“Pierre-Laurent Aimard dazzled just as much: it’s so easy to leave the piano part as an avalanche of notes, but he dug inside, excavating crystalline poetry.”
Geoff Brown, The Times (August 24, 2002)
“Pierre-Laurant Aimard is one of the most questing and open-minded pianists before the public today.”
Gramophone (August 2002; Teldec, At Carnegie Hall CD review)
“…the range of his carefully composed programme may astonish. So surely will his excellence in all departments – pianistic, musical, intellectual and imaginative. The highest qualities in these domains are constantly in play and in balance, without lapse”
Stephen Plaistow, Gramophone (August 2002; Teldec, At Carnegie Hall CD review)
Born in Tianjin in China, En Shao started to play the piano and violin at the ages of four and five, although the Cultural Revolution in 1966 forced him to stop his studies for some four years. Gradually he was able to resume and at the age of 18 he was working as a composer, pianist and percussionist with a local orchestra. He studied at the Beijing Centre Music Conservatory and after graduation became second Principal Conductor of the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for five years. At this time he also held the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China and the National Youth Orchestra of China.
En Shao was awarded the Lord Rhodes Fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music, when he came to England in 1988, and the same year received the first Edward Van Beinum Foundation Scholarship. As winner of the Sixth Hungarian Television International Conductor’s Competition in 1989 he conducted several performances with the Hungarian Radio Orchestra and the State Symphony Orchestra. In January 1990 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, a post created especially for him. Between 1992 – 1995 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra with whom he made his Proms debut and has also held the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Euskadi Orchestra in Spain.
In the UK En Shao conducted the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Hallé, Bournemouth, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Elsewhere recent and future engagements include the Helsinki, Royal Stockholm, Malaysian and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras, Stavanger, Prague and Palermo Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine, the Helsingborg, Norkopping, Lahti, Oulu, Aarhus, Aalborg Tivoli and Athens Symphony Orchestras, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Winterthur Musikkolegium, and the Polish National Radio Orchestra.
Further afield he is a regular visitor to the United States and Canada, working with the orchestras of Colorado, Toronto and Vancouver as well as tours to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand where he will return during 2002.
En Shao maintains close links with China and following his debut with the newly formed China Philharmonic Orchestra for their prestigious 1st May concert last year has been invited to return on a regularly basis. In 1998 he completed a highly successful British Council tour of China with percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the Central Chinese Television recently made a documentary on his life, which has been shown in China.
Tickets: 120.-, 80.- (reduction –50%)