Pierre-Laurent Aimard is a classical pianist and professor at the Paris Conservatory and the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Born in Lyon, France, he is widely acclaimed as a key figure in contemporary music, and has performed around the globe with the world’s major orchestras and conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jonathan Nott, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Franz Welser-Möst. An honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music, as of 2009 he will also serve as the Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival in England.
Question: What other arts forms most inform your music?
Pierre Laurent Aimard: I think this is a permanent process, so this would be the list of not all the books that you read in a life, but so many of them because every experiment becomes a part of yourself. Of course you make – you are a filter and you memorize what you memorize. You make your choices. But at the very end, you are consciously and unconsciously a very complex mix.
However, if you ask me to point on some crucial artistic moments that I have had and that maybe I would return to at the moment of my death, for instance. I don't know. But I would probably choose a certain amount of abstract paintings in the 20th century. I'm very fond of abstract arts and not only in the 20th century, but I think that what happened from before the First World War, let say, when **** starts, really. Opens the door for this adventure until the best moments after Second World War is something from in the center of the mystery. And the fact that with abstract arts, one could have such a large scale of expression and languages. Let's say from the ****, sophistication in simplicity from Roflco until the liberation in jester and in complete violent freedom of Pollack, lets say, for having two borders so far from each other is something that has always overwhelmed me deeply and continues to do it.
And if we speak from spoken language, or read language, I think that what remains the deepest in me are some of the pages of, let's say, you know the, how can I call them? Essential poets, that are able to shout about human existence. Like among our French poets, for instance, Francois Villon, with his desperate humanity, or Rimbaud, I think. Well, many others, but should have ****.