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November 13, 2011

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Pianist to perform Liszt tribute

FRENCH pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is coming to Shanghai later this month, presenting four of his piano works as a tribute to 19th century composer Franz Liszt.

The piano recital will be staged at Shanghai Concert Hall on November 25. Debussy's three Preludes, Boulez's First Piano Sonata, Ligeti's three Etudes and Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor have been selected for the concert, according to Aimard.

"I would like to present both landmark piano works such as Liszt's sonata and some less known good works, as well, such as Ligeti's Etudes," says Aimard.

According to Aimard, all four composers were great musicians. Liszt explored new art forms in his sonatas, Debussy discovered new "color and space" in music, Boulez changed music rules that still influence musicians today, and Ligeti recreated piano music.

Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor is one of Liszt's best works, according to Aimard.

It combines classical music with Romanticism. Liszt's inner conflict is also better presented in the sonata than in any of his other compositions.

Despite all this, Aimard says the concert is quite personal.

"The concert will be quite a portrait of myself - searching for the old things that still live today while staying curious about the new stuff," says Aimard, who is from Lyon. "That's what I want to communicate with the Shanghai audience."

The pianist has won numerous awards in his career, including the chamber music prize of the Paris Conservatoire and first prize at the International Olivier Messiaen Competition in 1973.

Aimard says he has a strong interest in contemporary music, with well-received interpretations of works by Debussy, Ligeti and Boulez.

He has studied the playing traditions of French, German-Austrian, modern, East European and Russian music because he believes that studying each music school can help a pianist find his own style.

"As for the interpretation of contemporary music, I try to understand, learn and speak the music language of the composer; try to catch the meaning of each piece," Aimard says. The pianist says every contemporary music composer has his or her own unique music language, which can be discovered by studying elements like rhythm.

Date: November 25, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Tickets: 80-580 yuan (US$13-91)

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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