Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the formidable French pianist whom The New York Times has praised for "staggering technique, searching intellect and fantastical imagination," has signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
He is hardly a stranger to the label, having appeared as a soloist on DG recordings since 1994, playing music by Messiaen, Ligeti and Boulez as well as Mozart.
Perhaps surprisingly for an artist so associated with contemporary music, Aimard's first disc under the new agreement will be Bach's The Art of the Fugue, to be released next spring as he performs the work in concert in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Tokyo.
Aimard, who turns 50 next month, was born in Lyon; he studied at the Paris Conservatoire, beginning at age 12, with Yvonne Loriod, who was Olivier Messiaen's wife, and later in London with Maria Curcio. While still a teenager, he won the 1973 Messiaen Competition in Paris; when he was 19, Pierre Boulez selected him to be solo pianist with the new Ensemble Intercontemporain. Since then he has developed a major career as concerto soloist and recitalist. He is especially associated with the music of György Ligeti, with whom he worked for 15 years, and he has recorded the composer's complete works for piano.