Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Biography

Born: September 7, 1961; France  
Thibaudet was born in Lyon to a French father and a German mother. The mother provided Thibaudet with his first piano lessons at age five, and later his father taught him to play the violin. Thibaudet's skill at the keyboard developed rapidly, and he gave his first recital at the age of seven, following with his first concerto appearance at age nine. At 12, Thibaudet was awarded a gold medal upon graduating from the Conservatory of Music in Lyon, Read more and he continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire with Madame Lucette Descaves, who had known Ravel personally and was on intimate terms with both Ravel's scores and those of Debussy. Thibaudet completed his studies with Aldo Ciccolini, whom Thibaudet himself credits for helping to shape his own style and technique.

Thibaudet won the Prix du Conservatoire at age 15, and then took the competition circuit by storm, winning prizes at the Viotti, Casadesus, and Busoni competitions. When Thibaudet took first prize at the International Piano Competition in Japan in 1980, he made his first recordings for Denon. Upon winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York in 1981, Thibaudet's career as a touring artist began in earnest. Thibaudet signed a recording contract with Decca/London, and has since recorded more than 20 CDs for them. These include the complete piano works of Ravel (a Deutsche Schallplattenpreis winner and Grammy nominee) and Debussy; the Greig, Ravel, Liszt, and Rachmaninov Concerti, concertinos of Honegger and Françaix, and D'Indy's Symphony On a French Mountain Air. He has also recorded transcriptions of Liszt, the Addinsell "Warsaw" Concerto, and works of Gershwin, Brahms, Schumann, Messiaen, and Chopin. Thibaudet has played concerts at symphony halls and music festivals throughout the world, and has worked in tandem with artists such as the violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Truls Mork, and singers Matthias Goerne, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Cecilia Bartoli and Reneé Fleming.

Thibaudet has also turned his attention to popular music, notably in his acclaimed Conversations with Bill Evans and Reflections on Duke. His warm, rich tone and Apollonian approach to jazz music exposes the strong Classical underpinnings of Evans and Ellington without resorting to schmaltz, cheekiness, or other typical pitfalls of Classical "crossover" recordings. In classical repertoire, Thibaudet is both technically solid and on intimate terms with the music he plays, yet sometimes takes adventurous turns in interpretation. A good example of this is found in his recording of Liszt's transcription of the Wagner Tristan and Isolde "Libestod." At one point, Liszt transcribes Wagner's inner voices in a syncopated, "funky" manner, and rather than attempting to flatten these out through use of rubato, Thibaudet plays them "funky," in tempo, as written.

Thibaudet dresses impeccably, and was a friend of the late designer Gianni Versace. The bright red socks he wore at early recitals raised a fair number of eyebrows, but Thibaudet has cited the need for a splash of color in the usual monochromatic settings employed in concert appearances. In addition to his interest in high fashion, Thibaudet enjoys sports such as tennis and water skiing, good conversation, tango music and opera. In 1997 Thibaudet made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the minor role of Boleslao in Giordano's Fedora; not that he plans to abandon his keyboard in favor of a singing career, but just for the experience it provided. As he once asked in an interview, "How can you play the piano without understanding opera, or art, sculpture, or literature for that matter?"

In June 2000, Thibaudet's recording of Debussy's Images and Etudes was picked as an "Editor's Choice" in Gramophone. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Strauss: Complete Tone Poems & Concertos [13-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010402 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Arthur David Krehbiel,  Raymond Kobler,  Heinrich Schiff,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Antal Doráti,  Kurt Masur,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ravel: Piano Music, Piano Concerto / Thibaudet, Grimaud
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1313396 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Hélène Grimaud
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Verdi: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001806202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 75
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Guleghina,  Samuel Ramey,  Violeta Urmana,  Sara Fulgoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Voices,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $199.49
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  • 4.
    Messiaen: Turangalila-symphonie / Chailly, Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001752702 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Takashi Harada,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto Nos. 1 & 3
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $8.99
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  • 6.
    Ravel Complete Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Ivo Pogorelich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Charles Dutoit,  Ernest Ansermet,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Nash Ensemble,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $83.49
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  • 7.
    Russian Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2572 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Natalie Dessay,  Dmitri Alexeev,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi,  André Cluytens,  Armin Jordan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Beautiful Starry Night - Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays Ravel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448618 Release Date: 09/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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  • 9.
    Debussy Piano Edition [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675602 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Anne Shasby  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kontarsky Duo,  Budapest Festival Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Messiaen: Orchestral Works / Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung [10-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676602 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Françoise Pollet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Joela Jones,  Catherine Cournot  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members,  BBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 11.
    Journey Around The World
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55476 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Arthur Benjamin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Larry Adler,  Truls Otterbech Truls Mork,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Robinson,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 12.
    Debussy: Complete Orchestral Works / Jun Markl, Orchestre National De Lyon
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8509002 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Paul Meyer,  Alexandre Doisy,  Emmanuel Ceysson
    Conductor:  Jun Märkl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
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  • 13.
    Debussy: Orchestral Works Vol 7 / Thibaudet, Meyer, Markl, Lyon NO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572675 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Paul Meyer,  Alexandre Doisy,  Emmanuel Ceysson
    Conductor:  Jun Märkl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 14.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 15.
    Liszt: Faust Paraphrase; 6 Consolations; Etc. / Thibaudet
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: 61 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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  • 16.
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: DSPRCD060 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Best Cello 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31659 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Mathias Georg Monn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Piano Concerto / Thibaudet, Alsop, Baltimore SO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001409102 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Best Cello 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64275 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Matthias Monn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lynn Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Linde Consort,  Nash Ensemble,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    For Mother - A Classical Bouquet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001267302 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Jules Massenet,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Nigel Kennedy  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $56.99
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  • 22.
    Chopin - Adagios / Arrau, Maisky, Argerich, Ashkenazy, Freire, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001212402 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Claudio Arrau,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Arrau,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Paula Live! - Liebermann, Kirchner, Prokofiev, Frazelle / Robison, Thibaudet, Kataoka, Bronfman, Hester
    Label: Pergola   Catalog: 1038 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Liebermann,  Leon Kirchner,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Kenneth Frazelle
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Paula Robison,  Ayano Kataoka,  Yefim Bronfman  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Strauss: Burleske, Duet-concertino, Oboe Concerto / Blomstedt, Ashkenazy, Maazel
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800404 Release Date: 10/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Kim Walker,  Dimitri Ashkenazy,  Gordon Hunt  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Piano Essentials - The World's Greatest Piano Music
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17683 Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hélène Grimaud,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Michel Béroff
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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