Pierre-Laurent Aimard Impact of the Russian and French Avant-Garde in the Shchukin Era

From 10 to 12 February 2017 - Auditorium

8.30 p.m.
Recital de Pierre Laurent Aimard 2017
Pierre-Laurent Aimard Impact of the Russian and French Avant-Garde in the Shchukin Era

In a series of short daytime concert-lectures and full-length evening concerts, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, along with four other pianists, presents an in-depth exploration of French and Russian musical artistry in the era of Shchukin, a harmonious musical extension of the Icons of Modern Art exhibit.


“Designing musical programming that resonates with the Shchukin exhibition is a distinct challenge: music has always been the ‘latecomer’ in art history, rarely keeping pace with the plastic arts in expressing the ideas of the day. It is also unrealistic to attempt to transpose the cutting-edge vision of the Parisian avant-gardists embraced by Shchukin into a musical realm. Yet, how might an acoustic experience be designed to effectively capture the emotional experience this exhibition may represent for the visitor?


“I felt that one possible solution would be to create concert programmes featuring a juxtaposition of Debussy and Ravel, while mirroring these works with compositions by Russian avant-gardists. This seemed like a feasible direction to take to meet the inspiring challenge offered by this fascinating exhibition.”


Pierre-Laurent Aimard, December 2016

With works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Scriabin, Arthur Honneger, Nikolai Roslavets, Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Obukhov, and Alexander Mossolov.

the artists

Music direction
Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Widely acclaimed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a uniquely significant interpreter of piano repertoire from every age, Pierre-Laurent Aimard enjoys an internationally celebrated career. 

He regularly performs throughout the world with major orchestras and conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Peter Eötvös, Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Chailly. He has been invited to create, direct and perform in a number of residencies, with projects at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Wiener Konzerthaus, Berlin's Philharmonie, the Lucerne Festival, Mozarteum Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Tanglewood Festival and London's Southbank Centre. Aimard is also the Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival - commenting on his directorship, The Guardian wrote: “Aimard has ensured that the provincialism Britten himself dreaded has no place here…it reassures music-lovers in search of seriousness and quality.”

In the 2015/16 season Pierre-Laurent is Artist-in-Residence with Wiener Symphoniker and will perform all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos under the baton of Philippe Jordan. He remains committed to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries with a major Stockhausen project for Musica Viva in Munich followed by concerts in Paris and Amsterdam, and a performance of Lachenmann’s Ausklang in Luxembourg. Other highlights include solo recitals in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo and London.

Born in Lyon in 1957, Pierre-Laurent studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. Early career landmarks included winning the 1973 Messiaen Competition at the age of 16 and being appointed three years later by Pierre Boulez as Ensemble intercontemporain's first solo pianist.

Pierre-Laurent has had close collaborations with many leading composers including György Kurtág, Stockhausen, Carter, Pierre Boulez, and George Benjamin, and had a long association with Ligeti, recording his complete works for piano. Most recently he performed the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Responses; Sweet disorder and the carefully careless, as well as Carter’s last piece Epigrams for piano, cello and violin, which was written for Pierre-Laurent and premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2013. Through his professorship at the Hochschule Köln, as well as lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music of all periods. During the 2008/09 season he was an Associate Professor at the College de France in Paris and he is a member of Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste. He received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named as Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2007. In 2015 he launched a major online resource centred on the performance and teaching of Ligeti’s piano music with filmed masterclasses and performances of the Etudes and other works by Ligeti in collaboration with Klavier-Festival Ruhr. (www.explorethescore.org)

Pierre-Laurent has made many highly successful recordings.  His first Deutsche Grammophon release, Bach’s Art of Fugue, received both the Diapason d’Or and Choc du Monde de la Musique awards, debuted at No.1 on Billboard's classical chart and topped iTunes’ classical album download chart. In recent years Pierre-Laurent has been honoured with ECHO Klassik Awards, most recently in 2009 for his recording of solo piano pieces, 'Hommage à Messiaen', a Grammy award in 2005 for his recording of Ives’ Concord Sonata and Songs and he was also presented with Germany’s Schallplattenkritik Honorary Prize in 2009. Further releases for DG – of ‘The Liszt Project’ in 2011 and Debussy Préludes in 2012 – were joined by a new recording of Bach’s Wohl Tempered Klavier Book 1, which was released in 2014.

Lorenzo Soulès


Born in Lyon into a family of musicians, Lorenzo Soulès began playing the piano when he was just three years old.

After the family moved to Saint Malo, he entered the CRR in Paris at the age of eight, in Olivier Gardon’s class, leaving four years later after winning all the prizes.

It was a young age to make the important choice of teacher to oversee the next stage of his musical training. Avoiding the usual route of the CNSDM in Paris, Lorenzo chose to study under Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich, both teachers in Cologne, and moved to the city at the age of 13. During the same period he took lessons in Barcelona with the great Alicia de Larrocha, with whom he worked on the complete Iberia by Albeniz.

In 2012, aged 20, he entered his first major international competition, the prestigious Geneva International Music Competition. This young man, as discreet in his everyday life as he is sensitive and inspired as a musician, obtained unanimity from the judges and the audience, winning all the prizes: First Prize, "Coup de Coeur Breguet" Prize, Audience Prize, Young Audience Prize and "Air France KLM” Prize.

The “Coup de Coeur” Prize, awarded by renowned Swiss watchmaker Breguet, gave him the opportunity to record his first disc (Nascor, November 2012). This brilliant debut was dedicated to Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Scriabine. The disc received the highest rating – “ffff” – from Télérama magazine, which described it thus: “Offering so much more than technical perfection, Lorenzo Soulès' piano playing is full of noble emotions and twilight states of the soul, and demonstrates a mastery of restrained demonic impulses, which are particularly well highlighted in this recital programme.” The recording was also selected as a “Choix de France Musique”.

Despite an increasing number of concert engagements, Lorenzo takes time to develop at his own pace, rejecting the mirage of flash-in-the-pan careers. He continues to study in Cologne, at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz.

During the 2015/16 season Lorenzo performed at the NDR-Hamburg, in Geneva, at the Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije, the London Royal Festival Hall and the Aldeburgh Music Festival, as well as in Buenos Aires and elsewhere.

In 2016/17 he will make his debut in Italy at the Piano City Milano and Trajettorie festivals, and will also perform at the Gasteig in Munich, the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and the Festival Messiaen for the second consecutive year.    

Tamara Stefanovich


Known for captivating interpretations of a wide variety of repertoire, Tamara Stefanovich performs at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall. She features regularly in international festivals such as Lucerne, La Roque d'Antheron, Aldeburgh, Salzburger Festspiele, Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Beethovenfest Bonn.

Highlights of the current season include an extensive US recital tour marking the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez, recitals at Konzerthaus Berlin, Southbank Centre London and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam as well as performances with Bochumer Symphonieorchester under the baton of Anu Tali. She performs Ligeti’s Piano Concerto with Stuttgarter Kammerorchester and Matthias Foremny. 

Recent engagements have included performances with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Susanna Mälkki, MDR Symphonieorchester Leipzig/Kristjan Järvi, WDR Symphonieorchester Köln, Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Thomas Zehetmair, Asko | Schönberg and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Stefanovich has also appeared with orchestras including The Cleveland, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia, Bamberger Symphoniker, Britten Sinfonia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and London Sinfonietta. In spring 2012 she toured Germany with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, performing Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony to much critical acclaim.

Tamara Stefanovich has collaborated with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Osmo Vänskä and Vladimir Jurowski as well as leading composers including Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös and György Kurtág. She teaches at the Hochschule für Musik Köln and regularly leads educational projects at Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Barbican in London and Philharmonie Köln. 

Her discography includes the Grammy-nominated recording of Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Pierre Boulez and the London Symphony Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon (which also received a MIDEM nomination and Gold Record Academy Award) and Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos with Aimard, Jonathan Nott and Camerata Salzburg for the ARTE. Stefanovich has also recorded for the AVI and harmonia mundi labels, including her latest release featuring works by Thomas Larcher. 

Taught by Lili Petrović, Tamara Stefanovich gave her first public recital at the age of 7 and became the youngest student at the University of Belgrade at the age of 13. As well as music, her broad university education encompassed several other disciplines – psychology, education, sociology – and she received her Masters degree in piano at the age of 19. She also studied at the Curtis Institute with Claude Frank, and subsequently studied with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Hochschule Köln.

Fabian Muller


"Exceptional pianist" (WAZ) and »keyboard artist with a great future« (General-Anzeiger) – both critics and audiences are enthusiastic and agree: Fabian Müller stands at the beginning of a highly promising career.

In recent times, the young pianist could repeatedly exhibit his talent. Fabian Müller attracted much attention as the prize winner in the Frankfurt competition Ton und Erklärung announced by the cultural department of the German economy in January 2015, for the choice of the International Holland Music Sessions for his participation at the concert series New Masters on Tour, with the much-noticed education project Ein Jahr mit György Ligeti at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, where he took musical responsibility and which was awarded with the Junge Ohren Preis 2014, or with his admittance to the Werner Richard - Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung for the concert series Best of NRW.

His successes resulted in an auspicious concert season 2015/16 with numerous highlights such as recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, at theHeidelberger Frühling, the Winners & Masters Gasteig, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Philharmonic in Bratislava, and, not least, the production of his debut CD Out of Doors.

Fabian Müller, born in Bonn in 1990, began playing the piano at the age of four. He received his first lessons from pianist Rose Marie Zartner. Soon, his exceptional talent was recognized and confirmed with numerous first prizes at the German youth competition Jugend Musiziert, which was followed by several distinctions such as the Ibach-Preis, special prizes by the Deutschen Stiftung Musikleben and the Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung, or the 1st prize at the Prix amadéo de piano in Aachen in 2011. The musical atmosphere of his hometown had a crucial impact on Fabian’s development as an artist. Grown up near to the death house of Schumann and Beethoven’s birthplace, he early came in contact with the great German composers. After his first concerts at these special places, Fabian was awarded with the Beethoven Bonnensis advancement award by theBürger für Beethoven association at the age of 14 and developed a close link to this music, which quickly became the center of his repertoire. In 2016 he became Artist in Residence at the Beethoven-Akademie in Bonn.

Fabian began his studies at the Musikhochschule Köln (Cologne University of Music) with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich at the age of 15 and participated in the masterclasses of Menahem Pressler, Pavel Gililov, and Leon Fleisher. Especially due to the contacts of his teacher Aimard to various important composers of the last decades, Fabian was also able to create a close relation to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He demonstrated this in 2013, when he became a price-winner of the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano and, furthermore, was awarded with the special prize for the best interpretation of contemporary piano music, the international prize of the press jury, and the special prize for the best interpretation of a piece by Busoni.

Fabian has already performed in concert halls such as the Philharmonie Köln, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, and in several European countries. Besides, he was a guest at prestigious festivals such as the Musikwoche Hitzacker, the Aldeburgh Festival in England, the Musikfestspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Schwetzinger Festspielen, and gave concerts with the Deutschen Streicher-Philharmonie, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), the WDR Sinfonieorchester, and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. In 2012, Fabian toured through Germany with the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, performing among others at the Berliner Konzerthaus, the Glocke Bremen, and the Herkulessaal in Munich.

Nenad Lečić


Nenad Lečić was born in Čačak, Serbia, in 1979. Shortly after beginning piano lessons at the age of five, he won numerous national and international competitions. His successful orchestral debut at the age of eleven was followed by concert tours, recordings for radio and television and CD productions.

When he was 13, he received the award “Young European Top Talent” from RAITV. In 1992, Nenad Lečić was accepted into the class of Igor Lazko as the youngest student at the University of Music in Belgrade.

He then completed his studies at the University of Music in Cologne under the tutelage of Arbo Valdma and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Workshops with András Schiff, Vladimir Krainew, Alexander Lonquich, Peter Eötvös, the Alban Berg Quartet, among others, have shaped his influences.

He regularly gives solo, solo and orchestra as well as chamber music concerts in Europe, such as at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall, Stefaniensaal Graz, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, in addition to concerts in Korea and Japan. As a soloist he has performed with various orchestras, such as the Bamberg Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Belgrade Philharmonic and collaborated with conductors like Jonathan Nott, Dennis Russel Davies, Konstantin Krimets, Mauricio Kagel and Mladen Jagust. He performs chamber music alongside Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Johannes Moser, Ralph Manno, Guido Schiefen, Xenia Jankovic, Tamara Stefanovich, Christoph Richter and Katharina Deserno.

Numerous invitations have led to performances at renowned international festivals, such as Klavier- festival Ruhr, Styriarte Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Kings Place Festival in London. He regularly gives world premiere performances of contemporary compositions, including the German premiere of the concerto for two pianos and orchestra “Im Lichte” by Johannes Maria Staud with the Bamberg Symphony conducted by Jonathan Nott.

Nenad Lečić taught at the University of Music in Detmold for many years and currently gives les- sons at the University of Music and Dance Cologne.

Nenad Lečić has five CD recordings to date with works for solo piano and chamber music.

The essential

From 10 to 12 February 2017
8.30 p.m. - Auditorium





Friday, 10 February, 12 noon & 3:00 p.m.


The importance of the visual dimension in the era’s musical creation is reflected in these two works, Images and Miroirs, composed in parallel by two great independent composers, reflecting a variety of stylistic and plastic influences.


12 p.m. : programme 1

Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Work performed by Lorenzo Soulès

• Claude Debussy : Images


3 p.m.: programme 2

Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Work performed by Fabian Müller

• Maurice Ravel : Miroirs


Full-length concert

Friday, 10 February, 8:30 pm

Recital for two pianos - Tamara Stefanovich & Nenad Lecic

Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Arrangement for two pianos by T. Stefanovich and N. Lecic from Stravinsky’s four-hand piano arrangement (1912-1913)

Claude Debussy: Jeux, Poème dansé – Two-piano arrangement by Jean Efflam Bavouzet

Ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky in 1913 in Paris (Théâtre des Champs Elysées).


------ intermission ------


Alexander Scriabin: Prometheus: The Poem of Fire

Two-piano arrangement by Leonid Sabaneyev (1911)

Venue lighting by Éric Soyer interpreting the “harmony-colour” representations established by the composer in his score.        



Saturday, 11 February, 12 noon


The visions for nocturnes early in that century entailed fantastic or haunted imagery, spurring a renewed use of various techniques: cascades, gerbes and tourbillons became the foundations of a new, dynamic artistic world.

Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Works performed by Lorenzo Soulès and Nenad Lecic

• Maurice Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit (L. Soulès)

• Alexander Mossolov: Deux Nocturnes op.15 (L. Soulès)

• Claude Debussy : Three Préludes (N. Lecic)


Saturday, 11 February, 3 p.m.


A reduction for piano is a sheet-music arrangement of a work for multiple instruments (such as the Epigraphes Antiques or the Tombeau de C. Debussy) or orchestra into a work for piano (as for Ma Mère l’Oye) They demonstrate the interest this generation of creators had in transposing more complex instrumental colours. The trend was also was born of a return to essentials, showcasing the exemplary stylistic concentration and purity of these pieces for four hands.

Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Works for four hands performed by Tamara Stefanovich and Nenad Lecic

• Igor Stravinsky: Tombeau de Claude Debussy

• Claude Debussy : Epigraphes antiques

• Maurice Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye


Full-length concerts

Saturday, 11 February, 8:30 p.m.

“AVANT-GARDES” - A recital by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

A colourful explosion of avant-garde works from the World War I era

Sergei Prokofiev: Sarcasms op.17

Alexander Scriabin: Five Preludes op.74

Nikolai Roslavets: Three Compositions

Nikolai Roslavets: Prelude “In Memory of My Teacher and Friend A.Abaza” 

Arthur Honneger: xcerpts from three works for piano

Igor Stravinsky: Piano Rag Music


------ intermission ------


Nikolai Obukhov: La Création de l’or

Nikolai Obukhov: Révélations

Claude Debussy: Five Etudes            



Sunday, 12 February, 12 noon


Each of the three composers radically reinterpreted harmonic language in his own way: Debussy, by freeing that language from its traditional functions and combining different harmonic objects in revolutionary fashion; Roslavets, by inventing new pitch structures; Scriabin, by broadening a harmonic legacy to tonal extremes, thereby creating colour complexes of unprecedented audacity.

Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Works performed by Nenad Lecic and Lorenzo Soulès

• Claude Debussy : Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (N. Lecic)

• Claude Debussy : Préludes  (N. Lecic)

• Nikolai Roslavets : I, quasi prélude – II, quasi poème (N. Lecic)

• Alexander Scriabin: Sonata No. 10 op. 70  (L. Soulès)


Sunday, 12 February, 3:00 pm


The spectre of war for Debussy, and that of decadence for Ravel, led both men to invent new compositional strategies: fragmentation for the former, mise en abîme for the latter. Obukhov’s kaleidoscope is a pure combination of colour foreshadowing spectral music. 

Programme for two pianos - Introduction by Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Works performed by Tamara Stefanovich and Nenad Lecic

• Nikolai Obukhov: Couronnement for two pianos

• Claude Debussy: En blanc et noir for two pianos

• Maurice Ravel: La valse for two pianos

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