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Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet records a wide range of repertoire, including Debussy, Liszt, and other virtuoso works, contemporary music, and jazz. He is a staple of the Decca label's catalog and has issued well over 50 recordings. Thibaudet was born on September 7, 1961, in Lyon, France. His parents were enthusiastic nonprofessional musicians, and he took up the piano when he was very young, entering the Conservatoire de Lyon at age five. At seven, Thibaudet made his first public appearance. Thibaudet went on to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, who knew Ravel personally. Several major prizes while he was still in his teens, including a win at the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York when he was 18, launched his concert career. Signed to the Decca label, where his recordings have continued to appear (sometimes on the London imprint), Thibaudet was heard in 1990 on a recording of Chausson's Concerto for violin, piano, and string quartet. His many recordings for Decca include two jazz albums, Conversations with Bill Evans (1997) and Reflections on Duke (1999). Thibaudet has appeared with many of the world's leading symphonic ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and the Chicago Symphony. He has often appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2010, and he often tours in Australia, where he has a strong fan base. Unusually for a classical pianist, Thibaudet's publicity lists the designer, Vivienne Westwood, of his concert clothes; he was a friend of famed designer Gianni Versace, and he was often noted early in his career for the bright red socks he wore while playing. In 2001, Thibaudet was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government; he was elevated to the rank of Officier in 2012. His chamber music partners have included violinists Joshua Bell and Midori, as well as cellist Gautier Capuçon, and he has often accompanied top-flight singers, including soprano Renée Fleming and mezzo-sopranos Angelika Kirchschlager and Cecilia Bartoli. Thibaudet served as pianist-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for the 2019-2020 season. In the fall of 2021, he released the recital album Carte Blanche. Thibaudet joined Midori on the Warner Classics label in 2022 for a complete recording of Beethoven's Sonatas for Piano & Violin. In 2024, he returned to Decca for the album Gershwin Rhapsody, joining pop pianist and vocalist Michael Feinstein.
© James Manheim /TiVo


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