For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed world-wide, recorded over 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. He plays a range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire – from Beethoven through Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Saint-Saëns; to Ravel, Khachaturian and Gershwin; and to contemporary composers Qigang Chen and James MacMillan.
In 2016/17 Thibaudet is Artist-in-Residence with Orchestre National de France, Wiener Symphoniker and the Colburn School in Los Angeles. As part of his residency in Paris, he performs Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with Stéphane Denève and Khachaturian’s Concerto for Piano with Semyon Bychkov; he also curates a special performance with selected students for Radio France. The Vienna residency sees a chamber music programme with principals from the orchestra, performances of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under Music Director Philippe Jordan, as well as concerts featuring the Grieg and Gershwin concertos – the latter televised by Austrian broadcaster ORF. At Colburn he enters the third year of a residency – the first of its kind – where his passion for education and fostering young musical talent is invested through individual lessons, masterclasses and performances with students.
Other season highlights include performances of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie with Gustavo Dudamel and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela as part of the season-opening concerts at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Europe. He tours China with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, opens the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra season under Music Director Marin Alsop and performs James MacMillan’s Concerto for Piano No.3 – a piece he premiered in 2011 – with the Brussels and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras under Stéphane Denève.
Thibaudet’s recording catalogue of more than 50 albums has received two Grammy nominations, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, as well as Gramophone and Echo awards. This season he releases Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, with whom he previously recorded Gershwin (2010), which featured big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, variations on “I Got Rhythm” and the Concerto in F. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie’s birth, Decca released a box set of Satie’s complete solo piano music performed by Thibaudet – one of the foremost interpreters and champions of the composer’s works. On his Grammy-nominated recording Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2&5, released in 2007, he is joined by long-standing collaborator Charles Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Thibaudet’s Aria–Opera Without Words, which was released the same year, features aria transcriptions, some of which are Thibaudet’s own. His other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations With Bill Evans.
Thibaudet has also had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy. This season he features Aaron Zigman’s soundtrack for Wakefield, a drama by Robin Swicord released in September 2016. He was soloist in Dario Marianelli’s award-winning scores for the films Atonement (which won an Oscar for Best Original Music Score) and Pride and Prejudice, and recorded Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack for the 2012 film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. He had a cameo in Bruce Beresford’s film on Alma Mahler, Bride of the Wind, and his playing is showcased throughout. In 2004 he served as president of the prestigious charity auction Hospices de Beaune. His concert wardrobe is designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at age seven. At twelve, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age fifteen, he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire and, three years later, the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. Among his numerous commendations is the Victoire d’Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honour given by France’s Victoires de la Musique. In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.