Louis Lortie

Biography

French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. He has extended his interpretative voice across a broad range of repertoire. The London Times, describing his playing as 'ever immaculate, ever imaginative,' has identified the artist's 'combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have.'

Louis Lortie studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of the legendary Alfred Cortot), in Vienna with Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher. He made his debut with the Montreal Symphony at the age of 13; three years later, his first appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra led to an historic tour of the People's Republic of China and Japan. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was also prizewinner at the Leeds Competition. In 1992, he was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and received both the Order of Quebec and an honorary doctorate from Université Laval. He has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.

He has made more than 30 recordings for the Chandos label, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky, including a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the complete Liszt's Années de pèlerinage. His Lutosławski Piano Concerto and Paganini Variations with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony received critical acclaim worldwide. As well as one of his latest recordings of Chopin, which was named one of the best recordings of 2012 by the New York Times. Mr. Lortie has performed complete Beethoven sonata cycles at London's Wigmore Hall, Berlin's Philharmonie, and the Sala Grande del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. Die Welt described his Berlin performancesas "possibly the finest Beethoven since the time of Wilhelm Kempff." As both pianist and conductor with the Montreal Symphony, he has performed all five Beethoven concertos and all of the Mozart concertos. Mr. Lortie has also won widespread acclaim for his interpretation of Ravel and Chopin. He performed the complete works of Ravel in London and Montreal for the BBC and CBC, and is renowned all over the world for his performances of the complete Chopin etudes.

Louis Lortie has performed with the world's leading conductors, including Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Jaap Van Zweden, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Sanderling, Neeme Järvi, Sir Andrew Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Mark Elder, Hannu Lintu, and Osmo Vänskä.

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