Biography

Louis Lortie – pianist.

For over three decades, the French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has appeared worldwide, his performances and award-winning recordings attesting to his remarkable musical range. A student of Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of the legendary Alfred Cortot) in Montreal, the Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber in Vienna, and the Schnabel disciple Leon Fleisher, he won First Prize in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in 1984 and the same year was a prize winner at the Leeds International Piano Competition. From then on, he embarked on an international career which keeps him in demand on five continents.

He has established long-term partnerships with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, and Dresdner Philharmonie in Europe, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and St Louis Symphony Orchestra in the US, and the Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary Symphony Orchestras in Canada. Further afield, he has collaborated with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, where he has also served as artist-in-residence, as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, and Adelaide and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.

He enjoys regular partnerships with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Edward Gardner, Sir Andrew Davis, Jaap van Zweden, Simone Young, Antoni Wit, and Thierry Fischer.

As a recitalist and chamber musician, Louis Lortie has appeared at venues and festivals across Europe and North America. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of the LacMus International Music Festival on Lake Como and a Master in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels.

A thirty-year relationship with Chandos Records has produced a catalogue of over forty-five recordings to date, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky. It includes a complete Beethoven sonata cycle, Liszt’s complete Années de pèlerinage. Ongoing projects include the complete piano works of Chopin and a focus on Fauré piano works, to which he brought new light. A champion of 20th Century music, his discography includes a highly praised recording of Lutoslawski piano concerto with Edward Gardner and BBC Philharmonic.

Exploring Vaughan Williams piano concerto, he recorded both versions, the original version with Peter Oundjian and Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the reworked version by the composer for two pianos with his duo partner Hélène Mercier, with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Davies. As a duo Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier also recorded Le Carnaval des animaux, with Neeme Järvi and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Rachmaninoff’s complete works for two pianos.