Performance Sunday, May 6, 2012 | 3 PM

Louis Lortie

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Louis Lortie has graciously agreed to replace Maurizio Pollini, who unfortunately must cancel his appearance due to illness.

Hailed as “one of a half-dozen pianists worth dropping everything to hear” (The Daily Telegraph, London), Louis Lortie returns to Carnegie Hall for a program of works by Beethoven and Chopin. Come hear for yourself why the Financial Times proclaims that "better Chopin playing than this is not to be heard, not anywhere."


  • Louis Lortie, Piano


  • BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
  • BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, "Les adieux"
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15, No. 1
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in F Minor, Op. 55, No. 1
  • CHOPIN Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2
  • CHOPIN Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60

  • Encores:
  • CHOPIN Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2
  • CHOPIN Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3, "Tristesse"
  • CHOPIN Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 10, No. 4, "Torrent"



    Louis Lortie

    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.

    Mr. Lortie has performed complete Beethoven sonata cycles at London's Wigmore Hall, Berlin's Philharmonie, and the Sala Grande del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. As both pianist and conductor with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, he has performed all five Beethoven concertos and all of the Mozart concertos. Mr. Lortie 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.

    In 2011, Mr. Lortie celebrated the bicentenary of Liszt's birth by performing the complete Années de pèlerinage at international music capitals and festivals. Other 2011-2012 engagements include playing and conducting with the Slovenian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and Orchestre symphonique de Québec; concerts with the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Philadelphia, Bournemouth, and St. Louis; a tour of Italy with the Kremerata Baltica; and a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Brahms Festival in Brussels.

    Mr. Lortie has performed with the world's leading conductors, including Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Sanderling, Neeme Järvi, Sir Andrew Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Mark Elder, and Osmo Vänskä. He has also been involved in many chamber-music projects with such musicians as Frank Peter Zimmermann, Leonidas Kavakos, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Jan Vogler, Augustin Dumay, the Takács Quartet, and Gidon Kremer. His regular piano-duo partner is fellow Canadian Hélène Mercier.

    Mr. Lortie has made more than 30 recordings for the Chandos label, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky, including a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the complete Liszt Années de pèlerinage. His recording of the Lutosławski Piano Concerto and Paganini Variations with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony was released earlier this year. Future recording projects include a disc of Liszt's transcriptions.

    Mr. Lortie's recording of Beethoven's Eroica Variations earned him an Edison Award. His disc of works by Schumann and Brahms was named one of the best CDs of the year by BBC Music Magazine, which also named his disc of Chopin etudes one of "50 Recordings by Superlative Pianists." His interpretation of Liszt's complete works for piano and orchestra with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague was a Gramophone Editor's Choice.

    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. He made his debut with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal at the age of 13; three years later, his first appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra led to an historic tour of the People's Republic of China and Japan. In 1984, he won First Prize in the Busoni Competition and was also prizewinner at the Leeds Competition. In 1992, he was named Officer of the Order of Canada, and received both the Order of Quebec and an honorary doctorate from Université Laval.

    More Info


Beethoven's Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein" (Allegro con brio)
Louis Lortie, Piano
Chandos Chaconne

At a Glance

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"; Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, "Les adieux"

The first half of the program showcases the brilliant "Waldstein" Sonata alongside the sentimental "Les adieux" Sonata. Composed on the heels of the "Eroica" Symphony, the "Waldstein" is an example of Beethoven's heroic period, with its strong sense of dramatic forward motion and thematic development. "Les adieux" expresses the composer's sorrow at the departure of Archduke Randolph from Vienna. The three movements trace the farewell, absence, and return of his dear friend and patron.

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN  Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15, No. 1; Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38; Nocturne in F Minor, Op. 55, No. 1; Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52; Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2; Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60

The program's second half alternates Chopin's dreamy, free-flowing nocturnes with ballades and barcarolles, leading to a musical conversation that traces emotions of openheartedness, nervous indecision, and feverish enthusiasm.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos II, and Weekend Student Sampler.