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Jean-Yves Thibaudet


About this Artist

For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed worldwide, recorded more than 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today’s finest pianists. From the start of his career, he delighted in music beyond the standard repertoire, from jazz to opera, which he transcribed himself to play on the piano. His profound professional friendships crisscross the globe and have led to spontaneous and fruitful collaborations in film, fashion, and visual art.

This season, Thibaudet continues his multiyear focus on Debussy’s Préludes, playing the complete cycle in solo recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe. He also performs recitals and small-ensemble concerts with close friends and new collaborators. In addition to a recital with Renée Fleming, Thibaudet tours Beethoven’s violin sonatas with Midori in the U.S. and Japan; appears with the all-star Itzhak Perlman and Friends program in Michigan, Toronto, and at Carnegie Hall; and joins Michael Feinstein for a bespoke evening-length program featuring the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers, specially arranged for piano duo, vocals, and orchestra.

In addition to his recital dates this season, Thibaudet appears as soloist in eight diverse works, performed with eleven different orchestras. Among them are Gershwin’s Concerto in F, Debussy’s Fantaisie for piano and orchestra, Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine and Turangalîla-Symphonie; Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2; Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5; Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”; and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G.

Thibaudet has a lifelong passion for education and fostering young musical talent. He is the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he makes his home. In 2017, the school announced the Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholarships, funded by members of Colburn’s donor community, to provide aid for Music Academy students, whom Thibaudet selects for the merit-based awards, regardless of their instrument choice.

Thibaudet records exclusively for Decca; his recording catalogue has earned him two Grammy nominations, two ECHO Awards, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d’Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, and Gramophone awards. His most recent album, 2021’s Carte Blanche, features a collection of deeply personal solo piano pieces never before recorded by the pianist. He is the soloist on Wes Anderson’s 2021 film The French Dispatch; his playing can also be heard in Pride & Prejudice, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Wakefield, and the Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed film Atonement. 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 12, he entered the Paris Conservatoire to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age 15, 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 honor 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 named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title of Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012. He is Co-Artistic Advisor, with Gautier Capuçon, of the Festival Musique & Vin au Clos Vougeot.