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One of today’s most sought-after soloists, JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities with dazzling technical prowess. His talent at coaxing subtle and surprising colors and textures from each work he plays has led the New York Times to exclaim that “every note he fashions is a pearl…the joy, brilliance and musicality of his performance could not be missed.” Thibaudet’s musical depth and natural charisma have underlined a career with global impact, including 30 years of performing around the world and over 40 recorded albums.
After three striking summer appearances at Tanglewood in which he played the complete piano works of Ravel, Thibaudet begins his 2011-2012 schedule with a European tour with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Thibaudet builds seasons around composers, delving into their repertoire with un-matched passion and depth. Much of the 2011-2012 season is centered on Liszt, Ravel, and Saint-Saëns, and he performs the concertos of Ravel and Liszt with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with the San Diego Symphony at its season-opening gala in October. During the months of October and November, Thibaudet will perform a program of Liszt lieder and Brahms lieder with mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, including a stop at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He will also tour Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the US with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing Saint-Saëns. After New York performances with the New York Philharmonic for its PBS-televised New Year’s Eve Gala and with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Thibaudet will conclude his season with Debussy recitals in Germany and France. These Debussy evenings celebrate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet has released over 40 albums with Decca, which have earned the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d'Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards, and the Edison Prize. In spring 2010, Thibaudet released his latest CD, Gershwin, featuring big jazz band orchestrations of “Rhapsody in Blue,” variations on “I Got Rhythm,” and Concerto in F live with the Baltimore Symphony and music director Marin Alsop. On his Grammy-nominated recording Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2&5, released in fall 2007, Thibaudet is joined by long-standing collaborator Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Also released in 2007, Thibaudet's Aria—Opera Without Words features transcriptions of opera arias by Saint-Saëns, R. Strauss, Gluck, Korngold, Bellini, J. Strauss II, P. Grainger, and Puccini; some of the transcriptions are by Mikhashoff, Sgambati, and Brassin, and others are Thibaudet's own. Among his other recordings are Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music and the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations With Bill Evans, his tribute to two of jazz history's greats.
Known for his style and elegance on and off the traditional concert stage, Thibaudet has had an impact on the world of fashion, film, and philanthrophy. His concert wardrobe is by celebrated London designer Vivienne Westwood. In November 2004, Mr. Thibaudet served as president of the prestigious Hospices de Beaune, an annual charity auction in Burgundy, France. He had an onscreen cameo in the Bruce Beresford feature film on Alma Mahler entitled Bride of the Wind, and his playing is showcased throughout the movie soundtrack. Thibaudet was the soloist on the Oscar- and Golden Globe-award winning soundtrack to Universal Pictures' Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice. He was also featured in the 2000 PBS/Smithsonian special Piano Grand!, a piano performance program hosted by Billy Joel to pay tribute to the 300th anniversary of the piano.
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, won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. In 2001, the Republic of France awarded Thibaudet the prestigious Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2002, he was awarded the Premio Pegasus from the Spoleto Festival in Italy for his artistic achievements and his long-standing involvement with the festival. In 2007, he was awarded the Victoire d'Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France's Victoires de la Musique. On June 18, 2010, the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame.