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Louis Lortie

Louis Lortie

The French/Canadian pianist Louis Lortie made his debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the age of thirteen and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra three years later. He is known for his interpretation of Ravel, Chopin and Beethoven.




Mr. Lortie has performed the complete works of Ravel in London and Montréal for the BBC and CBC, and is also known for his interpretation of Chopin. Following a recital of Chopin's complete Etudes in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Financial Timeswrote: &;quot;Better Chopin playing than this is not to be heard, not anywhere.&;quot; Mr. Lortie has also performed a series devoted to the keyboard, chamber, and vocal music of Brahms and Schumann for CBC. Recently Mr. Lortie has performed works of contemporary composers such as Kurtag (a Bach/Kurtag program at Columbia University), Carter (his Night Fantasieson tour this season), and Ades (the German premiere of his piano quintet at the Moritzburg Festival).

Also celebrated for his interpretation of works by Beethoven, Mr. Lortie has performed the complete Beethoven sonatas in London's Wigmore Hall, Toronto's Ford Center, Berlin Philharmonie, and the Sala Grande del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. In Berlin, Die Weltcalled his performances &;quot;possibly the most beautiful Beethoven since the times of Wilhelm Kempff.&;quot; With the Montreal Symphony, he performed and conducted all five Beethoven Piano Concertos. In the Beethoven Plus Festival, Mr. Lortie performed Beethoven's 32 sonatas for piano; ten sonatas for violin and Piano/five sonatas for cello and piano; and six trios for piano, violin and cello with violinist James Ehnes and cellist Jan Vogler.

In April, Mr. Lortie replaced Martha Argerich with Charles Dutoit and the New York Philharmonic: and after one of his Philharmonic evening performances he performed a long-scheduled recital at the Metropolitan Museum. He also opened the Bonn Beethoven Festival in September, 2003 playing Beethoven's Fourth Concerto with Kurt Masur conducting. He performs again with Mr. Masur in Paris next season and with the New York Philharmonic in January, 2006. Over the next four seasons Mr. Lortie will play and conduct the 27 Mozart Piano Concertos with the Montreal Symphony, culminating in 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. Other upcoming engagements include performances at the London Proms, at Lincoln Center with Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony, a return recital in Carnegie Hall, and concerts with the orchestras of Atlanta, Oregon, Toronto, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Munich, Bergen, Deutsches Sinfonie Berlin, Residentie, and Sydney. He begins a Liszt/Wagner series London's Wigmore Hall, and also performs recitals in Birmingham, Vancouver, Portland, Stanford, Sydney, Dresden, and on tour in Italy.

Mr. Lortie has made over 30 recordings on the Chandos label, ranging from Mozart to Stravinsky. His recording of Beethoven's Eroica Variationswon the Edison Award, and his disc of Schumann'sBunte Blatterand other works by Schumann and Brahms was named one of the best CDs of the year by BBC Music Magazine. He has recorded Ravel's complete works for piano and has almost completed the 32 Beethoven sonatas. His recording of the complete Chopin Etudes, opp. 10 and 25, has been cited by BBC Music Magazine's special Piano Issue as one of '50 Recordings by Superlative Pianists'. Mr. Lortie's most recent CD release is the final recording in his three-CD series of Liszt's complete works for piano and orchestra with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague. It was immediately named 'Editor's Choice' by Gramophone Magazine. In addition to the current Liszt recordings, other recent releases include To the Distant Beloved, with works by Beethoven, Schumann and Liszt, and Franck's Symphonic Variationswith the BBC Symphony.

Born in Montréal, Louis Lortie made his debut with the Montréal Symphony at the age of thirteen and the Toronto Symphony three years later, which as a result engaged him for an historic tour of the People's Republic of China and Japan. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was a prize-winner at the Leeds Competition. In 1992 he was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and received both the Order of Québec and an honorary doctorate from Laval University. As his schedule permits, he teaches at Italy's renowned piano institute at Imola. Mr. Lortie has lived in Berlin since 1997 but also has a home in Canada.