Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Artist in Residence 2016-17

The elegance and poetry of his interpretations, coupled with a highly developed articulation and sparkling virtuosity, have made Jean-Yves Thibaudet one of the most sought-after of contemporary pianists. His ability to tease out surprisingly delicate colours and intriguing structures has been hailed by the New York Times: “Every note he fashions is a pearl … the joy, brilliance and musicality of his performance could not be missed.”

Thibaudet was born in Lyon, where he began playing the piano aged five. His first public performance was at the age of seven; five years later he began his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and close associate of Ravel. At the age of fifteen he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire, at eighteen the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. Many other honours followed: in 2001 the Republic of France honoured him with the title Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; in 2002 he won the Premio Pegasus at the Spoleto Festival. In 2007 he was awarded the Victoire d’Honneur and in 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honoured the adoptive American citizen by inducting him into its Hall of Fame for his musical achievements.

Known for his flamboyant style, Thibaudet excels especially because of his enthusiasm for new experiences and discoveries. In the 1990s he played the role of the concert pianist in Giordano’s Fedora on stage at the New York Met; he has worked on numerous Hollywood productions, not only providing soundtracks but also acting on camera.

As the 2016-17 Artist in Residence, Jean-Yves Thibaudet will demonstrate his talent for straddling diff erent musical worlds in a total of seven concerts. With Music Director Philippe Jordan he will tackle the traditional televised Easter concert "Frühling in Wien" ("Springtime in Vienna"). The programme includes Gershwin’s marvellous Concerto in F, famous for ist appealing blend of the classical concerto form with typically American idioms. The second programme in which he is involved also crosses frontiers: Beethoven’s "Choral Fantasy", which fuses elements of the concerto and symphonic styles. He will play Edvard Grieg’s multifaceted piano concerto under the baton of Emmanuel Krivine. A work that switches between the characters of Schumann and Liszt, that could almost have been composed for Thibaudet with its blaze of colours and elegance. In line with tradition, as Artist in Residence he will also design a chamber music evening with musicians from the orchestra, with works by Debussy, Ravel and Schumann.