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 specialise in one particular style. The Times, describing his playing as “ever immaculate, ever imaginative”, has identified Lortie’s “combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have”.
Louis Lortie has performed complete Beethoven sonata cycles at Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and the Sala Grande del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. Die Welt described his Berlin performances as “possibly the finest Beethoven since the time of Wilhelm Kempff.” As both pianist and conductor with the Montreal Symphony, he has performed all five Beethoven concertos and all of the Mozart concertos. He has also won widespread acclaim for his interpretation of Ravel and Chopin. He performed the complete works of Ravel in London and Montreal for the BBC and CBC, and is renowned all over the world for his performances of the complete Chopin etudes. He celebrated the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth in 2011 by performing the complete Années de pèlerinage at international music capitals and festivals and performs it at the Carnegie Hall in 2014. His Chandos recording of this monumental work was named one of the ten best of 2012 by the New Yorker magazine.
In 2013-14 Lortie tours in Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and returns to the BBC Proms, the orchestras of St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, Vancouver, Detroit, the Suisse Romande, Nurnberg, BBC Philharmonic, Dresden and Hamburg, play-directs a Mozart program for the Toronto Symphony, and performs recitals in the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia, Warsaw, Montreal, Bournemouth, the Casals Festival, the Sydney Opera House, the National Arts Center, Duke University and in Milan.
French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie's Beethoven recital was lyrical, thoughtful and imaginative, adopting tempos in the fast movements that were restrained and cogent. [In Opus 7] Lortie sublimated any tendency towards velocity to bring to the fore a glowing sense of line. Lortie sustained the elegiac slow movement against the multiple distractions of upset wine glasses inside and speed boats on the harbour. [In sonata Opus 10, No.1] Lortie allowed the fiery first movement to achieve a sense of long line, making a gentle idyll of the slow movement and leaving the finale to take on a mood of urgency. The recital showed Beethoven playing at its most thoughtful and mature. The Sydney Morning Herald
I don't know another recording of Liszt operatic fantasies quite as pleasurably satisfying as this one. In individual works, Lortie has entered the realm of the great Egon Petri. International Record Review
After due reflection, I think this is one of the greatest discs of Liszt’s opera paraphrases I have ever heard. [...] Every one – and I mean every single one – that Louis Lortie plays offers either a new benchmark or a version to stand with the best. [...] In addition, the Fazioli piano, beautifully recorded at Potton Hall, is a lively, powerful and velvety-toned instrument from which Lortie draws the most sumptuous sounds [...] This is an exceptional release. Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone
- Sonata for Piano No 29 in B flat, 'Hammerklavier'
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
- Sonata for Piano in B minor
- Franz Liszt (1811-1886)