as JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET
“On Location Residency” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Highlights the Many Facets of His Artistic Life
Anyone who keeps pace with Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s stellar career soon learns that this globe-trotting pianist is hardly in one place for days at a time. Last summer, for instance, a typical two- week stint began in Lucerne, Switzerland and ended in San Antonio, Texas – with pedal-pushing stops in Toulouse, Metz and Salt Lake City, Utah! But in the Fall of 2001, his jet-set pace went ritardando as he stayed put in Los Angeles for a good two weeks! Atypical – for this Parisien who has been an avowed “Angeleno” since late 1998 when he gave up his New York City digs for a house in LA.
Perhaps there is no better personification of the phrase “The style is the man” than Jean-Yves Thibaudet. With his manner of dress as with his playing, he never fails to make a statement. With the new millennium, he adopted a new look, abandoning his trademark red socks and Versace outfit for the subdued colors and crisply tailored designs of Thierry Mugler. Since 2002 his stylist has been been the provocative British designer Vivienne Westwood. “It’s all part of being a performing artist,” he says, “and my way of showing respect for the audience and the orchestra.” This fusion of form (i.e., dress and body language) and substance in the artist makes every Thibaudet performance a double treat because it becomes both an aural and a visual experience.
“The Thibaudet On Location Residency with the Los Angeles Philharmonic” (November 21 to December 2, 2001) was how this two-week slice of his life was billed. It was all about music making, of course, and making music – with Jean-Yves accessible to people of all ages. The residency started with a 3-day concert and included such varied events as: a visit to an elementary school, a meeting with students who had the privilege of observing the pianist in rehearsal, a chamber music concert with members of the LA Philharmonic, a jazz concert in Hollywood, and a Piano Master Class at the Colburn School of the Performing Arts – all of which displayed many fascinating facets of arguably the most celebrated pianist of his generation.