Canadian pianist André Laplante, hailed as one of the great romantic virtuosos, has performed extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia, and has released a series of ever more impressive CDs. He garnered international attention after winning prizes at the Geneva and Sydney International Piano Competitions, and capturing the silver medal at the International Tchaïkovsky Competition in Moscow. Critics have compared him with Ashkenazy, Horowitz and Rudolph Serkin, placing him in the elite circle of virtuoso pianists who do not hesitate to take risks.

“a profoundly introspective experience. Here was a master pianist at the top of his form.”
Toronto Star

“André Laplante by now can be referred to as Canada’s ‘national treasure’.”
TheWholenote.com

Recently honored as an Officer of the Order of Canada, Laplante’s recent and upcoming performances include concertos with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Symphonies of New Jersey, Montréal and Chicago, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, a Russian tour including appearances with the St. Petersburg Symphony, and the Symphonies of Newfoundland, Quebec, Trois Riviere and Sherbrooke. Audiences at the Toronto Summer Music Festival have recently enjoyed Laplante in performances of sonatas and chamber music, and Pro Musica presented André Laplante in recital at Montréal’s Place des Artes.

Mr. Laplante’s distinguished discography includes his latest, Listz’s Années de pèlerinage – Suisse (Years of Pilgrimage – Switzerland). Hailed for his virtuosity and musicianship, Laplante won the Félix Award: Album of the Year for this release.

Laplante has appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, and on tour in Europe with the Toronto Symphony under Andrew Davis. His history includes an extensive North American tour with the Royal Philharmonic under the baton of the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin.

The acclaimed pianist has also made a major concert tour of the People’s Republic of China, recital tours of the Far East, Australia and North America, and appearances at major music festivals, including the Debussy Festival (France), Pecs Festival (Hungary), Orford Festival (Canada), Cascais Festival (Portugal), Salzburg Festival (Austria), Festival International de Lanaudière (Canada), International Summer Festival (Canada), Domaine Forget (Canada), and the TCU-Van Cliburn Institute (USA). Mr. Laplante performed with the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Malaysia as well as a critically acclaimed appearance with orchestra and quartet in an all French Festival with the Buffalo Philharmonic. He also appeared with the Columbus Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa and Club Musical de Québec, as well as performances with the Toronto, Québec, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, Lexington, Pasadena and México City symphonies.

André Laplante’s releases on the Analekta label include, in addition to Liszt, works by Ravel and Rachmaninoff, as well as an award winning Brahms album. He has also recorded for CBC and Melodia. His recording of Tchaikovsky No. 1 with Joav Talmi and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, was nominated for the 2001 Felix Award, and his recording of Jacques Hetu’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for CBC Records won the 2004 Juno award for orchestral recordings. Laplante has also been honored with two Opus Awards for 1999 live performances: “Best Concert in Montréal” and “Best Concert in Québec Province.” His recording of Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage was awarded a Felix Award for Best Classical Solo Album of the Year.

André Laplante has served as a juror of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, the International Music Festival in Australia, the CBC National Competition (Canada’s most prestigious), the Honens International Piano Competition, the William Kapell International Piano Competition and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.

“It’s true that his leonine style, titanic power and profound musicality all seem to belong to some past golden age of piano aristocrats, when giants like Josef Lhevinne and Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli roamed the Earth. Laplante is the kind of artist whose sensitivity and deep emotions transcend technique…”
Ottawa Citizen

“His playing today seems more confident, more violent, with the energy and stamina of a much younger man. His sumptuous sound achieves an almost three-dimensional quality, never harsh or uncontrolled even in the most explosively virtuosic passages. Laplante tossed off thundering cascades of octaves and astounding double trills, but also showed tremendous subtly and delicacy, and all that technical skill only serves his intelligent, emotionally unbridled musicality.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Considering the density of the musical material, one can only marvel at the light touch of the pianist. His fingers danced over the keys. The lines sprung from the keyboard like rockets; the audience greeted the performance triumphantly.”
Le Soleil

“Laplante is a formidable virtuosity guided by a rare musical intelligence”
Toronto Globe and Mail

“the highlight was Canadian pianist André Laplante’s blazing traversal of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3… his hands often look like a one-man ballet troupe…. this performance won a richly deserved standing ovation.”
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

“Laplante has an immense technique which he uses only to make points such as are called for. Everything he plays is intensely musical.”
The Vancouver Sun

“he translates the notes on the page into memorable musical experiences of great substance”
Winnipeg Free Press

“…brilliantly played by André Laplante…What a tour de force!” [Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 Montreal Symphony Orchestra] Toronto Globe and Mail

“…bone deep musical sensibility; a perfection of detail in the meaningful context of the whole. Nothing, neglected, nothing inflated, and everything brimming with life….I am in no doubt he (Laplante) is among the master pianists.” [Mozart Piano Concerto in A Maj. K 414, Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra] Toronto Globe and Mail

“Laplante…strode on stage with Lisztian hair and convincing command of a wide range of repertoire…Liszt…perfect for a pianist with the flair and fingers of Laplante”
Fort Worth Star Telegram

“The sweeping power of Laplante and his ability to articulate the melody and accompaniment played simultaneously by the single hand were remarkable.” [Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand Buffalo Philharmonic] The Buffalo News

“…such a performance is almost a miracle … I shall remember for a long time with what effectiveness André Laplante fashioned the sonoric material and succeeded to keep the most forceful passages of an incredible clarity.” [Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec] Le Soleil

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Review of the album – Chopin

Ottawa Citizen, July 2015
“His sumptuous sound achieves an almost three-dimensional quality, never harsh or uncontrolled even in the most explosively virtuosic passages. Laplante tossed off thundering cascades of octaves and astounding double trills, but also showed tremendous subtly and delicacy, and all that technical skill only serves his intelligent, emotionally unbridled musicality.”

Winnipeg Free Press, September 2013 [PDF] “call him the great communicator…he translates the notes on the page into memorable musical experiences of great substance”

MusicalToronto, July 2012
“There are hundreds of excellent pianists in the world, all able to present fantastic recitals. But very, very few possess that special, extra dose of magic…”

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, April 2012  [pdf] “the highlight was Canadian pianist André Laplante’s blazing traversal of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3”
“His fingers sprint, leapfrog and tumble with almost supernatural ease through this showpiece’s devilish runs. In the galloping second variation of the Tema con variazioni and in the concerto’s explosive finale, his hands often look like a one-man ballet troupe.”

Newark Star-Ledger, October 2011 [pdf] “Laplante asserted an ample, orchestral sound and built suspense as he intrepidly scaled the range of the piano. Without becoming overly sentimental, Laplante imparted dreamy, downy sound to the reflective music of the second movement…. The swarming strings and ripping brass the NJSO brought to the allegro vivace were a fine match for Laplante’s liquid steel timbre and the considerable skill he brought to its pianistic demands.”

Toronto Globe and Mail, August 2010 [pdf]
“Although Laplante’s is a formidable virtuosity guided by a rare musical intelligence, his art is not intellectual so much as visionary.”And “He did it again Tuesday night at his sold-out Toronto Summer Music Festival Concert at MacMillan Theatre.”

The Wholenote, June 2010 [pdf] CD review
“André Laplante by now can be referred to as Canada’s ‘national treasure’. He is a well established artist especially in the Romantic repertoire and has a worldwide reputation with critics comparing him sometimes to Richter and Horowitz. This new recording for the Analekta label tackles Liszt in an ambitious, rarely recorded program of the first book of the 21 year old Liszt’s romantic wanderings with Countess Marie d’Agoult… To capture the many layered complexities of this set, Laplante is the ideal choice and this recording shows it.”

Toronto Globe and Mail, November 2009 [pdf]
“André Laplante and Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, the ideal pairing of master pianist and masterpiece, superbly supported by Sir Andrew Davis, himself a master accompanist among conductors, crowned the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Wednesday concert…. Many gifted and highly trained virtuosi can manage the Emperor Concerto, but few can fulfill it with the lofty command and perfect discretion of Laplante”[Toronto Symphony, Beethoven Concerto #5] Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail, November 2009

“Laplante has an immense technique which he uses only to make points such as are called for. Everything he plays is intensely musical. The Beethoven Waldstein Sonata was an exclamation mark in the program. Chopin’s wild B-flat minor sonata…was thrilling. It had urgency and colour. The trio of that famous funeral march wasn’t played sweetly but eerily, as it should be, and the famous minute or so of the finale…was light, racing and fantastic.” [Chopin Society, Magee Auditorium, Vancouver] Lloyd Dykk, The Vancouver Sun, 2006

“…bone deep musical sensibility; a perfection of detail in the meaningful context of the whole. Nothing, neglected, nothing inflated, and everything brimming with life….I am in no doubt he (Laplante) is among the master pianists.”[Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra – Mayumi Seiler, artistic director, Mozart Piano Concerto in A major, K. 414] Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail, 2006

“…brilliantly played by André Laplante…What a tour de force!”[Montreal Symphony Orchestra – Kent Nagano, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2] Alan Conter, The Globe and Mail, Toronto October 2005

“Beethoven’s Emperor truly is music that nourishes the soul, and – -with the exceptional pianism, thoughtfulness and expressive depth of this guest artist – -proved uplifting in every way…Laplante surely is one of the great romantic pianists of the era. Bringing the virtuoso’s technical wizardry and dramatic flair to an icon of the high classic era can yield extraordinary results, as it did last night…. Laplante’s playing proved characteristically awe-inspiring; he is capable of delivering the softest, most elegant trill as well as unleashing the most thunderous double-flated outbursts from top to bottom (and back) of the keyboard…. Yet it is a technique fully at the beck and call of an artistic sensibility in the grandest sense…Music-making of which memories are made.”[Columbus Symphony Orchestra – Alessandro Siciliani, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”] Aaron Beck, Columbus Review, March 2005

“I have never heard Laplante play better than he played this music Saturday night, using the Fazioli’s responsiveness to a soft attack to turn the Andantino into a profoundly introspective experience. Here was a master pianist at the top of his form.”[Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Peter Oundjian, Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271] William Littler, The Toronto Star, January 2005

“Laplante’s meticulously considered pallette was in flawless synchronization with the formal considerations of the piece, sensuous and sensitive playing…”[Vancouver Chopin Society Recital, Queen Elizabeth Playhouse] David Gordon Duke, The Vancouver Sun, October 2004

“Laplante…strode on stage with Lisztian hair and convincing command of a wide range of repertoire…Haydn…one sensed, as is usually the case with particularly fine interpreters of music of the classical era, the undercurrent of gathering revolution….Liszt…perfect for a pianist with the flair and fingers of Laplante…Laplante closed with the equally difficult but far different demands of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy…successfully conveying a particularly stormy, often mournful side of Schubert.”[TCU Cliburn Institute’s Master Recital Series, Fort Worth, Texas] Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star Telegram, June 2004

“Laplante is not only a great pianist, but also a great musician, aurally absolutely inside the music’s fabric and momentum. He played as Brahms himself might have played.”[Glenn Gould Studio: Onstage Series, Toronto, Brahms Piano Quintet with the St. Lawrence String Quartet] Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail, October 2003

“Unalloyed pleasure is a given, when you hear Laplante. A fastidious artist he is, but never soberly academic….Laplante responds with the freshness of first discovery.”[Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra – Imre Pallo, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2] James Manishen, Winnipeg Free Press, March 2003

Victoria Symphony – Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
“…hearing it played by a pianist with the technique and sensibilities of Laplante can be…revalatory….the range of dynamics and tone colours Laplante produced was little short of astonishing.”
Deryk Barker, Times Colonist, Victoria, December 2002

A440 Concert Series, Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall, Calgary
“Laplante evokes a world, now nearly past, in which a concert is a serious artistic event…Laplante always chooses important works, full of significant musical content…Laplante’s listening ears are surely among the best in the business when it comes to nuance and tonal gradation, and his voyage into the emotional world of this music was nothing short of magic.”
Kenneth DeLong, Calgary Herald, February 2002

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra – Grzegorz Nowak
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3
“Andre Laplante played the work splendidly, making those florid, dizzyingly rapid passages appropriately glittering, while the tender moments had real poise and thoughfulness.”
D.T. Baker, The Edmonton Journal, January 2001

Buffalo Philharmonic – Jorge Mester
Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand
“The sweeping power of Laplante and his ability to articulate the melody and accompaniment played simultaneously by the single hand were remarkable.”
Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News, July 1999

L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec – Kees Bakels
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3
“…such a performance is almost a miracle … I shall remember for a long time with what effectiveness André Laplante fashioned the sonoric material and succeeded to keep the most forceful passages of an incredible clarity.”
Richard Boisvert, Le Soleil (Québec), February 1999

UBC Music at the Chan Series Recital
“Laplante’s playing…was both technically awesome and time-stoppingly beautiful.”
Lloyd Dykk, The Vancouver Sun, February 1999

Glenn Gould Studio Recital, Toronto
“Laplante proved once again why he is one of Canada’s most highly regarded pianists…He is one of those rare soloists whose every effort is aimed at serving the music…immense musical intelligence.”
Christopher Hume, The Toronto Star, April 1996

Prokofiev: Suggestion Diabolique – watch

Prokofiev Concerto #1 clip – listen

Liszt encore – listen

André Laplante Discography