French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. He has extended his interpretative voice across a broad range of repertoire rather than choosing to specialize in one particular style. The London Times has identified the artist’s “combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have”.
He has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, OSESP/Sao Paulo, the Royal Philharmonic, and toured with the Leipzig Gewanhaus, the La Scala Orchestra and with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. Current engagements include the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, and recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, in Aldeburgh, Detmold, Berlin, Bonn, Florence, Sao Paulo, and at the Bergen Festival and the Raiding Liszt Festival.
Mr. Lortie has performing with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and also his play/conducting engagements take him to orchestras world-wide. He often performs with his regular duo piano partner, the Canadian pianist Helene Mercier.
He has made more than 35 recordings for the Chandos label, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky, including a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the complete Liszt “Annees de Pelerinage”, which was named one of the ten best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker Magazine. His recording of the Lutosławski Piano Concerto and Paganini Variations with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony received high praise, as did a recent Chopin recording (he is recording all of Chopin’s solo piano music for Chandos), which was named one of the best recordings of the year by the New York Times. Many recordings are planned, including the just-released Chopin Waltzes, Rachmaninov’s complete works for two pianos with Helene Mercier, Poulenc works for piano and orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic, Faure piano works, and Scriabin piano works.
Louis Lortie studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of the legendary Alfred Cortot), in Vienna with Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was also prizewinner at the Leeds Competition. The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels just announced that Mr. Lortie has been named its new Master in Residence, following Marie Joao Pires who carried the title for four years. He has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.