Alexandre Tharaud

Piano

January 25, 2015, 4 PM

Music Room

Artist Images


A distinguished interpreter of the music of Bach, Chopin, Rameau, and Ravel, French pianist Alexandre Tharaud is well-known for his adventurous programming. An active recording artist and recitalist, he presents Couperin’s Pièces de clavecin, Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331, and Schubert’s 16 German Dances, D. 783. Tharaud concludes with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110, a masterwork that sheds the vestiges of classical form. 

Program

François Couperin (1668–1733)
Piëces de clavecin

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331        

Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
16 German Dances, D. 783

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Piano Sonata No. 31 in A–flat Major, Op. 110

Alexandre Tharaud has not only distinguished himself as one of France's leading pianists but has made a name for himself on the international stage as an artist of unique vision and originality, heralded for his brilliantly-conceived programs and bestselling recordings that range from Bach, Chopin, Rameau, and Ravel to music inspired by Paris cabaret of the 1920's.

In the 2014/2015 season, he will appear in recital in Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, DC, and throughout the US, including a return to Carnegie Hall and his debut at Chicago Symphony Hall. Future engagements also include a North American tour playing Mozart with Les Violons du Roy, with whom he has recorded Bach Concerti for Warner Classics, and has a forthcoming disc of Mozart. In recent seasons he made his debut with the Toronto Symphony and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Frick Collection in New York, and Shriver Hall in Baltimore. Alexandre has enjoyed working with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Bernard Labadie, Daniele Gatti, Lionel Bringuier, Stéphane Denève, Vladimir Jurowski, Jun Märkl, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Matthias Pintscher, among others. 

This season, Alexandre was invited for a two-week "carte blanche" at Paris' Cité de la musique playing with colleagues, friends, and orchestras, including a performance of the Ravel concerto with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and Scarlatti sonatas performed alongside traditional flamenco songs. Other recent highlights include Alexandre's debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; appearances with the London Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; with the Orchestre National du Luxembourg, and the Stockholm Radio Orchestra, and a European tour with Orchestre National De France and Daniele Gatti. In 2013, his book Piano in Time, was published, comprising a collection of interviews with Nicholas Southon. He is currently working on a second book about his family. Alexandre starred in Michael Haneke’s last film Amour, which took the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival (Alexandre also provided the soundtrack to the album), and a documentary about Alexandre "Hidden Time" was released last year. 

For harmonia mundi, Alexandre made a series of critically acclaimed recordings including the highly celebrated, best-selling Rameau CD, followed by Ravel (complete piano works), Bach’s Italian Concerti , Couperin, Satie and a series of Chopin CDs, the last one of which, Journal Intime, was his first Virgin Classics CD. Subsequent, award winning releases include JS Bach’s keyboard concertos and a selection of Scarlatti’s sonatas. 

In 2012, Virgin/EMI Classics released Alexandre's Swinging Paris - Le Boeuf sur le Toit. The disc conjures up the range and atmosphere of the legendary 1920's Parisian cabaret bar, featuring a selection of composers from Ravel to Gershwin to W.C. Handy, and including collaborations with Natalie Dessay and Madeleine Peyroux. His recording of the Goldberg Variartions will be released by Warner Classics in Fall 2015. 

Alexandre's adventurous approach to programming has resulted in a number of commissions and premières; he has toured extensively with his ‘Hommages à Rameau' and ‘Hommage à Couperin' programs which feature works by the old masters interwoven with tributes by contemporary composers. Last year saw the premiere of PianoSong; a selection of contemporary works composed after popular songs from the 1960s-80s. He recently premiered French composer Gérard Pesson’s new piano concerto, together with the Tonhalle and the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra. Alexandre has also worked closely with Thierry Pécou, who has written several pieces for him, including a piano concerto (released by harmonia mundi) and a concerto for piano and chorus to receive its world premiere at the end of July 2013 at La Roque d’Anthéron festival, and North American premiere a few days later as part of the Lanaudière festival.