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Louis Lortie

The French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, not least for exploring his interpretative voice across a broad repertoire rather than choosing to specialise in a particular style. Describing his playing as ‘ever immaculate, ever imaginative’, The Times identified a ‘combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have’. He studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert, a pupil of Alfred Cortot, in Vienna with the Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with the Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher. He made his debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the age of thirteen, and his first appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra three years later led to an historic tour of Japan and the People’s Republic of China. In 1984 he won First Prize in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and was also a prize winner at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.

Louis Lortie has made more than thirty recordings for Chandos, covering a repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky. His recording of Beethoven’s Eroica Variations won an Edison Award; his disc of works by Schumann (including Bunte Blätter) and Brahms was judged one of the best CDs of the year by the magazine BBC Music; the same magazine named his complete recording of Chopin’s Études one of ‘50 Recordings by Superlative Pianists’; and his interpretation of Liszt’s complete works for piano and orchestra was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. His Chandos discography also includes works by Franck, Fauré, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Gershwin. Planned repertoire for future recordings includes Years 1 and 3 of the complete Années de Pèlerinage by Liszt, a disc of Liszt’s transcriptions, and the completion of the cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
In 1992 Louis Lortie was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and received both the Order of Quebec and an honorary doctorate from Laval University. He has lived in Berlin since 1997 but also keeps a home in Canada.

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